Health Notes

Travelers Bring Home Antibiotic-Resistant Bug

by Dr. Sasan Gholami on April 16, 2015

With dangerous “superbugs” already making headlines, add another drug-resistant bacteria to the list causing concern among physicians. This one is infecting travelers, and then spreading quickly once they get home.

The bacterium causing concern is known as shigella sonnei, and it’s behind some 500,000 cases of extreme diarrhea in the U.S. each year. But now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says between May 2014 and February 2015, some 243 of those cases of shigellosis—the infection caused by Shigella— were drug-resistant. About 90 percent of the drug-resistant clusters were resistant to ciprofloxacin (Cipro), the main antibiotic used to treat it.

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Nothing “Super” about a Superbug

by Dr. Rudolf Kotula on March 24, 2015

They are potentially deadly bacteria with no current way to stop them, wreaking havoc within the bodies they infect.

While antibiotics have been used for years to knock out harmful bacteria that make us sick, superbugs are drug-resistant, meaning antibiotics won’t help.

A dangerous superbug called CRE (carbapanemase-producing Enterobacteria) has been making headlines for infecting a group of patients in California who underwent a specific type of endoscopic procedure using a duodenoscope. It’s a particular kind of scope designed for visual examination of the duodenum or portion of the small intestine closest to the stomach. Because of its unique capabilities, it has moving parts on the end which can be more difficult to clean and trap dangerous bacteria.

Here at Methodist, our physicians perform hundreds of duodenoscope procedures each year. Our staff takes measures beyond manufacturer’s recommendations to make sure the scopes are cleaned and sterilized. It’s a job they take seriously, and for good reason. Infection can be a real risk in any surgical and non-surgical procedure.

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Think Spring… and Spring Break Safety

Thumbnail image for Think Spring… and Spring Break Safety February 19, 2015

It’s that time of year again, when the winter doldrums have us all dreaming of escaping to someplace warm. For some, that means planning for a spring break getaway just a few weeks from now. When it comes to travel planning finding a swimsuit that fits shouldn’t be the only thing on your “to-do” list. […]

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Measles Strikes Douglas County

Thumbnail image for Measles Strikes Douglas County January 22, 2015

First Disneyland, now Douglas County. The Douglas County Health Department has confirmed a case of the measles. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus, which spreads by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It’s so contagious, any person exposed to it who isn’t immune may likely catch it. It starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red […]

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Vaccines Put Outbreaks on Ice

Thumbnail image for Vaccines Put Outbreaks on Ice January 15, 2015

Score one for viruses, germs and the importance of vaccines. When it comes to disease, no one is immune. Just weeks ago, an outbreak of mumps sidelined several professional hockey players in the NHL. More than a dozen players were infected with the disease and with an incubation period of 14 to 18 days, more […]

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AIDS Diagnosis Means Ongoing Care

Thumbnail image for AIDS Diagnosis Means Ongoing Care December 1, 2014

Today, more than a million Americans are living with AIDS. It’s a pretty staggering number. But now consider this: As of two years ago, only 30 percent of Americans with HIV had the virus under control. And approximately two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in […]

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Keeping Foodborne Bacteria Away from your Holiday Plate

Thumbnail image for Keeping Foodborne Bacteria Away from your Holiday Plate November 10, 2014

The holidays are a time for sharing with family and friends. But the last things you want to share are bacteria, parasites and viruses. Without great care, unfortunately, holiday meals and gatherings are a breeding ground for things that can make people sick. Foodborne illnesses are all too easy and quickly spread. Each year, an […]

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Five Viruses that Should Worry You More Than Ebola

Thumbnail image for Five Viruses that Should Worry You More Than Ebola October 20, 2014

Every time we turn on the news, one disease is making international headlines: Ebola. And while the Ebola virus is a violent and deadly disease, there are many other viruses that are perhaps more concerning than Ebola – and you are much more likely to catch them. In fact, two of the nation’s top infectious […]

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Staying Ahead of the Game: Flu 2014

Thumbnail image for Staying Ahead of the Game: Flu 2014 September 18, 2014

Anyone with school-age children knows once a bug starts to spread, it’s hard to stop. Without protection, viruses like the flu can hit your home before you know it. That’s why it’s important to think about vaccinations now… before the assault from influenza begins. We’ve all seen the tell-tale signs of flu: muscle aches, fever, […]

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What Every Parent Should Know About Enterovirus D68

Thumbnail image for What Every Parent Should Know About Enterovirus D68 September 8, 2014

Methodist hospitals and Methodist Physicians Clinic locations are on alert for a virus making hundreds of kids across the Midwest sick. Doctors are bracing for a possible outbreak from a bug known as Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68. In Kansas City, the virus has sent more than 30 children a day to one local hospital, with […]

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