Poliovirus in wastewater: Should we be concerned?

Polio is a potentially life-threatening or disabling illness that spreads from person to person. Thanks to vaccination, the United States has been polio-free since 1979, and the spread of this highly contagious disease has been interrupted in most countries. Yet on June 22, the United Kingdom Health Security Agency announced that it had detected poliovirus […]

Can an implanted tongue-stimulating device curb your sleep apnea?

Loud snoring, grunts, and gasps can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious disorder that causes repeated, brief pauses in breathing (apneas) throughout the night. It can leave people drowsy and depressed, and put them at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. If this sounds like you or […]

Easy, delicious summer veggie meals will help stretch your food budget

Colorful summer vegetables packed with healthful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are easy picking for simple, low-cost meals. Meatless Mondays, meet summer’s bounty: a wide variety of colorful, fresh summer vegetables now available in grocery stores, backyard gardens, and farmer’s markets. We’re talking sunshiny golden corn on the cob, deep purple eggplant, red beets, peppers of […]

If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal

  Proponents of cannabis generally dismiss the idea that there is a cannabis withdrawal syndrome. One routinely hears statements such as, “I smoked weed every day for 30 years and then just walked away from it without any problems. It’s not addictive.” Some cannabis researchers, on the other hand, describe serious withdrawal symptoms that can […]

Tracking viruses: The best clues may be in the sewer

Wastewater testing has captured rising COVID levels and even evidence of polio. Can it predict new viral outbreaks? Yogi Berra said it well: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Though he wasn’t talking about viral infections or the current pandemic, he might as well have been. Even the best scientists, infectious disease […]

A refresher on childhood asthma: What families should know and do

Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease in children. In the US, it affects about 6 million children, or about one in every 12 children. Breathing is key to life, obviously, so asthma can make life very hard. It can make going for a walk outside feel very hard. It leads not just to […]

Why are you taking a multivitamin?

For most Americans, a daily multivitamin is an unnecessary habit. Are you among the one in three Americans who gulps down a multivitamin every morning, probably with a sip of water? The truth about this popular habit may be hard to swallow. “Most people would be better off just drinking a full glass of water […]

Corneal transplants becoming more common

At one time, replacement parts for the eyes must have seemed unimaginable. Nowadays, if the inner lens of the eye becomes clouded by a cataract, a routine surgery to swap it out with a new artificial lens restores vision. But what happens if the outer lens of the eye (the cornea) becomes damaged or diseased? […]

Could eating fish increase your risk of cancer?

A study asks whether people who eat a lot of fish have a higher risk for the skin cancer melanoma. If you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet, fish is a good choice, right? After all, fish is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin […]

Preventing C. diff in and out of the hospital

Many people seek medical attention when they have diarrhea, usually when it is severe or is not improving. Doctors like myself ask questions to see what could be causing the problem: Food poisoning? Irritable bowel syndrome? Medication side effects? We also consider that diarrhea may be due to Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). What is C. […]