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Infection prevention

Blue Light Treats MRSA Infections

By Dr. Saputo

An article published in November of 2013 in the journal, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, documented that using blue light therapy at both 405 and 470 nm was effective in vivo to treat skin infections in rats infected with MRSA

Hospital deploys robots to kill Ebola

By Natasha Verma

LEE COUNTY, FL - Within minutes, a deadly infection can spread from a dirty hospital room. After all, a slip in infection control is what caused nurses to contract Ebola in a Dallas hospital.


That's why Lee Memorial Health System is deploying a new line of defense at all four of its hospitals--robots.

"We get the phone call to come to the room," Janene Bowling, lead housekeeper said. "We wheel it." Hospitals are deploying their own soldiers. "Plug it in," Bowling said. To fight the Ebola virus, Enterovirus 68 and common flu. "Once I hit the start button we have to leave and shut the door," she said.


Robots that emit continuous UV light.


"It penetrates the organism and specifically disrupts the DNA so they can't reproduce," Steve Streed, director of infection prevention said. At $38,000 a robot, one nicknamed Medusa at Lee Memorial Hospital gives off an unmistakable blue light that works magic within eight feet around it. In just 2 minutes the robot kills Ebola from any surface in the empty hospital room.


"It's quick, clean, easy," Bowling said. When basic disinfectants and bleach fail, this is a final step to stop the spread of infection."Any opportunity for an organism to linger from one patient to the next following discharge and admission of the next one is pretty much eliminated," Streed said.


Lee Memorial was one of the first hospitals to conduct pilot studies on the UV light. It works. You can even smell it in the air. "Well if you've ever been to a tanning bed there's an odd odor when you come out, you smell it," Bowling said, the robots literally zap the Ebola virus to death.

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A Reason for the Flu Season

Outbreaks of the flu around the world from 1964 to 1975 by latitude and by season.

Seasonal variation of D levels in a population in southern Germany.

Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year...

~ Hippocrates

(circa 400 BCE)

...the characteristic microbe of a disease might be a symptom instead of a cause.

~ George Bernard Shaw

(Preface on Doctors, The Doctor's Dilemma, 1911)

Travel to Australia from the US in May as the Austral winter is coming on and you will be greeted by billboard and television ads to "get your flu shot." Having just arrived from the northern hemisphere where spring was giving way to summer, it may surprise you to see flu shot ads at that time of year. In the northern hemisphere, we are used to seeing such ads in the latter half of the year.


In our modern era of worldwide jet travel, have you ever wondered why the "flu season" is only in the fall and winter months and not year-round? In 2014, worldwide commercial airplane travel surpassed 100,000 flights per day. Over 37 million flights were scheduled for the year with dozens to hundreds of people per flight, all moving around the planet all the time[1].


Microbe passengers are carried north, south, east, and west by well over a million people every day yet the flu remains a seasonal phenomenon. Why isn't flu season all year long? A study published in 2006 in the journal Epidemiology and Infection[2] provides an answer - vitamin D.


Solar ultraviolet radiation triggers robust seasonal vitamin D production in the skin. Vitamin D, which is actually a steroid hormone rather than a vitamin, has profoundly beneficial effects on the human immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the winter when the solar source of UV is minimal.


From the study's abstract: [Vitamin D] acts as an immune system modulator, preventing excessive expression of inflammatory cytokines and increasing the 'oxidative burst' potential of macrophages. Perhaps most importantly, it dramatically stimulates the expression of potent anti-microbial peptides, which exist in neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells, and in epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract where they play a major role in protecting the lung from infection. Volunteers inoculated with live attenuated influenza virus are more likely to develop fever and serological evidence of an immune response in the winter. Vitamin D deficiency predisposes children to respiratory infections. Ultraviolet radiation (either from artificial sources or from sunlight) reduces the incidence of viral respiratory infections, as does cod liver oil (which contains vitamin D). An interventional study showed that vitamin D reduces the incidence of respiratory infections in children.

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