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Doctor insights on: Anthrax Handling Mail

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Can salmonella contaminate your garbage disposal?

Can salmonella contaminate your garbage disposal?

Yes: The drain, and plug of kitchen sink can get quite funky. Studies confirm high bacterial counts (comparable to a toilet) no reason to think disposal any "cleaner". Disinfect: run cold water for several minutes; pour 1- 2 cups of chlorine bleach into drain, let sit for 10m, hot water for 2m; disposal?: turn it on during flush. 2x/wk. Clean out debris daily; plug in dishwasher; liquid soap. ...Read more

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I'm afraid of a bioterrorist anthrax attack, is there a publicly available vaccine?

I'm afraid of a bioterrorist anthrax attack, is there a publicly available vaccine?

Vaccine available: A vaccine is available and you should consult your doctor to determine need for it and your suitability as a recipient. Please note that you are more likely to get hit by lightening than get anthrax from a terrorist attack. ...Read more

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How to disinfect phones, remotes, tabletops etc when infected with tuberculosis bacteria?

How to disinfect phones, remotes, tabletops etc when infected with tuberculosis bacteria?

No risk, no worry: People never catch TB by contact with phones, remote controllers, tabletops, or other contaminated surfaces. It is transmitted only through the air when the infected person coughts. Just use any standard household cleaner then don't worry about it. ...Read more

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Rabies vaccine causes HIV through inject by reuse syringe?

Rabies vaccine causes HIV through inject by reuse syringe?

Don't reuse syringes: In parts of the world, HIV has been transmitted by reusing syringes.Old syringes were sterilized but nowadays cheap syringes should be available anywhere. ...Read more

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How do public health workers stop a cholera epidemic?

How do public health workers stop a cholera epidemic?

Education: By educating people about avoiding contaminated water and food. ...Read more

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Diseases (virus, parasite, etc) you can catch from using a communal sink (to brush teeth) and toilet?-water-splash-borne, air-borne, touching surface?

Diseases (virus, parasite, etc) you can catch from using a communal sink (to brush teeth) and toilet?-water-splash-borne, air-borne, touching surface?

Definitly: Virus is air borne and parasites are water and food borne.Any open area that is shared with many people can be a source of contracting both.Be careful when you travel to asia -africa -south america and any unsanitary looking venues. ...Read more

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Can Lasa virus be killed through contaminated cooking food?

Can Lasa virus be killed through contaminated cooking food?

Lassa fever dangers: This disease is dangerous -and is transmitted by 'dust' or aerosols. Mice/rats contaminate food supplies and then you have the issue of what to do with the food that's contaminated. The best thing, I believe, would be to throw it all out, since you don't want to create dust or aerosols while cooking. It's infectious after all. Technically boiling temps kill the virus, but is it worth the risk? ...Read more

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Can leprosy mutate into a deadlier disease, resisitant to current vaccines?

Can leprosy mutate into a deadlier disease, resisitant to current vaccines?

BCG has been used : in attempts to vaccinate against leprosy but isn't that effective. More specific vaccines are in development. At this point, leprosy has consistently responded to multi-drug therapy which for multibacillary leprosy is usually Dapsone, Rifampicin & Clorazime. Other antibiotics can be used. This is one of the oldest diseases known to mankind and appears to remain steady in it's form. ...Read more

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Concerning restaurant food handling: Is any bacteria that is transferred from a person's dirty hands onto food destroyed by heat from an oven at all?

Concerning restaurant food handling: Is any bacteria that is transferred from a person's dirty hands onto food destroyed by heat from an oven at all?

No: If that were to happen, the food would be overcooked all the time, and people would give the chef bad ratings and not visit the restaurant again. The food just has to be safe for normal people, which means immuno-suppressed people have to make their own special decisions (we can never try to make the world safe for every single person). Many foods are not meant to be well-cooked (salad, sushi...). ...Read more

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How can I stay safe from contacting histoplasmosis from breathing bat guano dust?

How can I stay safe from contacting histoplasmosis from breathing bat guano dust?

Avoid guano dust: The only way is to avoid areas where guano duse would be present such as attics, caves and other bat dwellings. ...Read more

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Spreading of staff infections in assisted living community possible if used washer and dryers?

Spreading of staff infections in assisted living community possible if used washer and dryers?

Possible: Possible in washing machine highly unlikely in dryer. Use hottest water, chlorine when possible which will lessen the risk. ...Read more

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Could leprosy mutate into a deadlier disease, resisitant to current vaccines?

Agree w Dr. Novick: Vaccine is in development at this time. Currently there have been no cases of leprosy which are resistant to multi-drug tx. Multi-drug therapy for multibacillary leprosy is usually Dapsone, Rifampicin & Clorazime. Other antibiotics can be used. Fewer antibiotics may be used for other forms of leprosy. Multi-drug therapy continues to be an effective treatment for leprosy. ...Read more

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Can raccoons in Canada, Ontario have rabies?

Can raccoons in Canada, Ontario have rabies?

Rabies in Canada: Although rabies can be found in bats and other mammals in Canada, it is not a major risk. CDC recommends rabies vaccine for only these groups:Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites or other animal bites (such as adventure travel and caving).People who will be working with or around animals (wildlife professionals and researchers). ...Read more

Dr. Alvin Lin Dr. Lin
1 doctor agreed:
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How ca we protect against infectious diseases apart from proper sanitation, vaccines?

Dr. Alvin Lin Dr. Lin
1 doctor agreed:
How ca we protect against infectious diseases apart from proper sanitation, vaccines?

Preventing disease: As you've noted, two of best ways to protect against infectious diseases are proper sanitation (hygiene) and vaccination. Check in w/your GP annually to discuss your immunization status. Washing hands regularly is important as well as proper food preparation. I would also ask you to avoid endemic areas. For instance, parts of Africa were rife w/Ebola last yr and now parts of South America by Zika ...Read more

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Can disease spread from butt contact of public toilet seats?

Can disease spread from butt contact of public toilet seats?

No: If that were the case, epidemics related to public toilets would be widespread. Ever heard of one? I didn't think so. ...Read more

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From canada my bf used 2 kleenez not bare hands to pick up dead baby bird and dispose.Than carried in groceries without washing hands. Contamination?

From canada my bf used 2 kleenez not bare hands to pick up dead baby bird and dispose.Than carried in groceries without washing hands. Contamination?

Germs are everywher: Germs are everywhere, I would not expect that the two of you were going to eat off of those grocery bags. With food preparation and refrigeration your bacterial burden is usually reduced significantly. I wouldn't be any more concerned about this ,that if you went outside and played in the yard and came in and ate dinner without washing your hands. The normal human body has a great immune system. ...Read more

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What is the risk for getting anthrax from handling my own mail?

What is the risk for getting anthrax from handling my own mail?

Very, very low: According to an article written by ed o’keefe for the washington post, the United States postal service spends $101 million annually to screen all first-class mail. Envelopes are scanned and periodic air samples are taken to track for biologic agents. No harmful biological chemicals have been detected since 2002. ...Read more

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How can mail get cross-contaminated with anthrax?

How can mail get cross-contaminated with anthrax?

Only by design: Ordinary mail including packages will not pick up things like anthrax or other infectious agents. For this to happen, someone would have to, on purpose, open one piece of mail and insert anthrax. There is no chance for accidental contamination. ...Read more

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When there is a known incident, how can I prevent anthrax exposure from cross-contaminated mail?

Autoclave the mail: You worrying about an eventuality that is less likely to happen than you getting struck by lightening, so to speak. However, if you are paranoid, you could get your mail autoclaved. ...Read more

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Is anthrax a serious health risk?

Few Cases/ Serious: There are very few cases of anthrax - however infection wth anthrax is a serious healh problem with a high fatality rate for GI & inhalational anthrax. ...Read more

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Is anthrax in the soil all around us?

Is anthrax in the soil all around us?

Soil born spores: Anthrax spores are soil born. They can be ingested by herbivor mammals. These mammals can subsequently be eaten by carnivorous mammals. People can come in contact with infected hides or meat. Animal outbreaks are most often seen in undeveloped countries. ...Read more

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How many different types of anthrax are there?

How many different types of anthrax are there?

1 germ/3-4 forms: There is one anthrax germ that produces human illness based on how it enters the body. Inhaled spores can produce pulmonary anthrax (terrorist act), eating raw meat or dairy from infected animals can produce mouth & throat or gastrointestinal anthrax.Spores that are scratched into the skin surface can produce a skin sore.See www.Bt.Cdc.Gov/agent/anthrax. ...Read more

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What occurs if your body were exposed to anthrax?

Route of exposure: If anthrax spores are introduced into the skin, it causes a local sore and ulcer and mortality is limited. Eating contaminate meat causes gastro-intestinal infection with appreciable mortality. Inhalation of spores causes the most severe disease by affecting the lungs. See this site for more info. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/anthrax/. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: Anthrax?

What is the definition or description of: Anthrax?

Anthrax: Bacillus microbe that is highly resistant to extreme environmental states. Commonly occurs in livestock industry and has military potential in a weaponized state. Leads to eschar formation on skin as large black area of dead flesh. ...Read more

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Why is anthrax so hard to kill?

Spores: Anthrax bacterial form spores with a thick coat and the spore form can remain dormant for years. ...Read more

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Is my hookah poisoned with anthrax?

Not likely: But using tobacco is a very bad idea. ...Read more

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How is anthrax spread? Is it contagious?

How is anthrax spread? Is it contagious?

Contact with spores: Anthrax is not spread person to person! as we saw in 2001, spores that were sent thru the mail as a terrorist act can be inhaled & cause pulmonary anthrax. Short of this exposure, spores can be ingested on contaminated (uncooked) food and cause infection from the base of the tongue thru the GI tract. It can also cause a painless sore on the skin. See www.Bt.Cdc.Gov/agent/anthrax. ...Read more

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Who should be vaccinated against anthrax?

Military & lab work: People at risk for contracting anthrax should be immunized against it. Currently certain military personnel, people who work with anthrax in labs, people who work with imported animal hides or furs from areas of high levels of anthrax, and veterinarians working in areas (outside of usa) with high levels of anthrax. ...Read more

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What are the case fatality rates for the various forms of anthrax?

Depends on treatment: Cutaneous anthrax- 5-20% fatality if untreated; < 1% with antibiotics; inhalation anthrax-99% fatal if untreated; 45-80% fatal in pts with severe symptoms even if treated. ...Read more

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What is the treatment for anthrax?

Antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin/ levofloxacin/ doxicycline & penicillin are primary treatments for anthrax. Duration of rx depends on setting. See www.Bt.Cdc.Gov/agent/anthrax. ...Read more

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What are best lab tests for anthrax?

This is moot: Anthrax organisms grow on culture. However, a physician must suspect anthrax and treat, because it is likely to kill you -- especially the inhaled form -- before the lab result is back. ...Read more

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What are the types of anthrax infection?

What are the types of anthrax infection?

Skin, lungs and GI: Anthrax is an infection caused by bacillus anthracis that is usually spread by infected animals or animal products and can manifest itself in three ways.The majority present as skin infections with pustules. Next, inhalation anthrax is much more severe and presents with flu-like symptoms.The third is gastrointestinal anthrax and may present with severe abdominal pain and bloody vomit or diarrhea. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of anthrax poison?

Bacterial infection: Anthrax is a bacterial infection with three major types of manifestations, in order or severity, cutaneous, gastrointestinal and pulmonary. Pulmonary infection, once it becomes apparent as pneumonia is usually lethal. Gi type causes severe bloody diarrhea and skin forms presents as an ulcer with fever. ...Read more

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How can our immune system fight anthrax?

Vaccination: A vaccine for anthrax was available a while ago and was given to military personnel. For microbial diseases, vaccination is the best way to support the immune system to fight the infection. ...Read more

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How anthrax can cause respiratory attack?

Anthrax: The anthrax infection begins in the mediastinum and produces toxins which kill nearby cells. As more cells are infected and die, swelling and bleeding occur. Toxins spread throughout the body affecting organs and causing the organs to fail. When organs begin to fail, the disease has become fatal. ...Read more