Blog Archive - October 2010
October 31, 2010
It’s Halloween and the weather in Lincoln, Nebraska is perfect for the annual event – 60 degrees and overcast! How nice for trick-or-treaters – especially the little ones! Again this year those coming to my door for a “treat” will get a 2 nanobugs temporary tattoos (of seasonal influenza and H1N1 influenza virus) and a message to “Say, Boo! to the Flu”. The influenza nanobug is pretty scary – it’s intended to be. This creepy nanobug says, “it gives me a kick to make you sick!” The influenza virus is one of the nanobugs we “love to hate” – and hate it enough to get a flu shot and foil it’s purpose and plan to make your sick! For most of us – the flu is just an annoyance – spoiling our productivity (or learning for school children) when it hits. But for some folks – especially the elderly or individuals with chronic illnesses, it can be down-right scary!
This year the H1N1 influenza virus vaccination is part of the seasonal mix and so only one vaccination is needed. The CDC recommends this year’s flu vaccination to everyone 6 months of age or older – that would include YOU. The CDC website is loaded with information for parents and children. Check it out at:
So how about you? Are you planning to say, “Boo!” to the flu this year with a vaccination? I’ve got a free tattoo for you if you do. (Click on Contact Us here on the nanobugs website and tell us your name and mailing address in the “Comments”. (and don’t worry, we won’t publish your info here or sell it to anyone).
October 26, 2010
It is almost Halloween and that means the season for bats is here. Bats are associated with Autumn and they fit in well with the ambiance of Halloween. Besides their creepy appearance and the strong emotions they create when they invade our living spaces, there are health reasons to avoid bats – the main one is the transmission of Rabies Virus. This is a nasty nanobug and so I feel compelled to pass on what I know about preventing rabies from bats:
- Late summer and fall is the time of year that bats are most likely to be found inside houses and buildings in increased numbers. According to Dr. Annette Bredthauer, the state veterinarian for Nebraska - this is partly because the time for their migration and hibernation is coming. Additionally, the young baby bats raised in the summer can become disoriented and enter buildings.
- Bats carry the rabies virus in their saliva and then transmit the virus if and when they bite a person. The bite is usually superficial and often overlooked.
- Children should be told to never PLAY with bats if they find them in a cave or on a tree or bush outside. If there is one on the ground, it should be left alone. This is an important message to give children and to reinforce seasonally – “don’t touch bats or dead birds or squirrels or dogs behaving badly”.
- Bats can bite you while you are asleep and you might not be aware of it. So bats should be captured and tested if one is found in the bedroom where someone is sleeping, or a bat is found in a room with individuals who are unaware or can’t communicate about it (small children or those individuals with disabilities), or someone steps on a bat or has some other direct exposure to a bat.
- To catch a bat – leave it to the experts – call your local animal control center. The bat should be captured when it lands on a wall or curtains, according to Dr. Bredthauer. A butterfly net and a stiff piece of cardboard are the best tools. If you find a bat in the room of someone who has been sleeping, don’t shoo it out the door. Call someone (animal control) to capture it for testing. And don’t smash it with a broom – the brain needs to be intact for the testing.
The slogan for the Rabies Virus nanobug is, “I love rats and bats and ferrel cats”. Rabies is most commonly found in bats, skunks and raccoons but could be found in dogs cats, and squirrels – actually, any biting mammal – wild or domestic. No wonder bats contribute to the scary ambiance of Halloween. Just remember that avoidance is how you do prevention with this nanobug.
October 17, 2010
Today marks the start of International Infection Prevention Week. The theme for this year's acknowlegment is "Infection Prevention is everyone's business". The idea to call attention to the prevention of infection began in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the 3rd week in October as Infection Control Week. This recognition has evolved into International Infection Prevention Week. Goodness knows, this is a goal worthy of the world’s attention.
So what does one do to “celebrate” this week? Your first response is probably, “wash my hands”. That is good idea but it’s not a behavior you should save for this annual celebration/recognition! More appropriately, your participation should include a system or mechanism for teaching and reminding everyone in the home, school, or workplace about the importance of infection prevention and especially hand hygiene. Health care institutions are always ambitious in reinforcing the infection prevention message in very specific ways in order to help in our eternal campaign to prevent HAI’s (healthcare associated infections). This year we want to emphasize the fact that infection prevention is not just a goal for healthcare facilities - it's everyone's business! So this time let’s carry the message deep into the global communities to recommend and encourage appropriate behaviors for people in their homes, dormitories, locker rooms, and in workplaces of all kinds.
In the process, some of the nanobugs will be shamed and others will be recognized for their positive contribution to this important mission of infection prevention. Please join Nanobugs, inc. and infection preventionists all over the world in giving infection prevention your attention this week.