from the world's big
Researchers figure out the infectious periods of coronavirus on cardboard, metal and plastic.
- A new study tested how long coronavirus stays infectious on surfaces like plastic, cardboard and metal as well as air.
- The results show that the virus can live from hours in air to several days on steel.
- The research underscores the importance of cleaning household and hospital areas and objects.
6 Steps to Prevent COVID-19<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d005dc11ea8ab2c726868b37ab6a1022"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Ay4u7OYOhA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><em>Take steps to lower your risk of getting sick with COVID-19. Here are some things you should do. </em></p>
What You Need To Know About Handwashing<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8092450c11efd8c74cff3fd913b27716"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d914EnpU4Fo?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
A harrowing new report by the CDC should serve as a wake-up call.
- STD rates have risen every year since 2013, with 2017 showing the largest increase.
- Syphilis passed from mothers to babies is causing easily preventable infant deaths.
- STDs are easy to cure so far — the key is getting regularly tested.
Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis<p>The statistics are sobering in the period from 2017 to 2018 alone. The CDC reports:</p> <ul> <li>Gonorrhea cases have increased 5%, to more than 580,000 cases. This is the highest number of infections reported since 1991.</li> <li>Chlamydia has set a new record, more than 1.7 million cases, an increase of 3% throughout 2017.</li> <li>There were 115,000 cases of syphilis. The STD is most infectious during its primary and secondary stages, and these increased by 14% to 35,000 cases. During 2017, syphilis in newborns rose to 1,300 cases, an increase of 40%. Underscoring its source is that syphilis among women of child-bearing age went up by almost an identical amount, 36%.</li> </ul> <p>Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, the most common sexually transmitted infections, can be cured with antibiotics (for now). Left untreated, the STDs can lead to transmission to other people, as well as "adverse health outcomes such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and increased HIV risk," says the CDC.</p><p>And of course, there's the congenital syphilis killing babies. Most states in the U.S. have reported cases, though 70% of them are concentrated in just five states: Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, and Louisiana.</p><p>The heartbreaking loss of newborn life is easily avoidable. Gail Bolan of the CDC says, "There are tools available to prevent every case of congenital syphilis. Testing is simple and can help women to protect their babies from syphilis — a preventable disease that can have irreversible consequences."</p><p>It's for this reason the CDC recommends that all women get tested the first time they visit their healthcare provider upon becoming pregnant, and — if they live in high-risk areas — they should get tested a second time at the start of their third trimester and again before delivery. This advice applies even to expectant mothers who aren't currently sexually active. In addition to being transmissible through genital, oral, and anal sex, there are <a href="https://www.hivplusmag.com/wellness/2016/8/24/yes-you-can-get-sexually-transmitted-infection-without-having-sex" target="_blank">plenty of other ways</a> to quietly pick up an STD infection.</p><p>There's good reason not to put off getting an STD and STI checkup. Gonorrhea is one of the worrying bacteria becoming <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2018/press-release-2018-std-prevention-conference.html" target="_blank">increasingly resistant</a> to antibiotics, according to both the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats18/figures/31.htm" target="_blank">CDC</a> and the <a href="https://www.popsci.com/antibiotic-resistant-gonorrhea-getting-worse/" target="_blank">World Health Organization</a>, who report that it currently afflicts about 78 million people worldwide each year. According to the WHO's Teodora Wi, "The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them."</p><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/images/2018/std/std-infographic-complete.jpg" ><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjAxMzk3OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzEzNDg5MH0.e5FKQAsj1dQ4ePvc5IovpMG9ve4-Nf21WlhhIOwcNsI/img.jpg?width=980" id="0d4d9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="99b196c36f8ccca00d3eab59e589eed6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /></a>
Image source: CDC
Why are STD rates on the rise<p>The CDC cites three likely reasons:</p> <ul> <li><em>Drug use, poverty, stigma, and unstable housing, which can reduce access to STD prevention and care</em></li> <li><em>Decreased condom use among vulnerable groups, including young people and gay and bisexual men</em></li> <li><em>Cuts to STD programs at the state and local level — in recent years, more than half of local programs have experienced budget cuts, resulting in clinic closures, reduced screening, staff loss, and reduced patient follow-up and linkage to care services</em></li> </ul> <p>The subtext of the CDC's third bullet point about local programs being cut is that there's a compelling statistical <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6806a4.htm?s_cid=mm6806a4_w" target="_blank">intersection</a> between the increase in drug use — particularly meth — and heterosexual syphilis. The CDC proposes new collaborations between STD control programs and substance-use disorder services providers — not cutting back such programs as seen recently.</p><p>Finally, the stigma attached to having an STD or STI is real, and many would simply prefer to assume they don't have one. This is despite the <a href="http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/statistics/" target="_blank">estimate</a> that among sexually active people, some 80% will have an STI (with STDs being a subset of these) at some point in their lives. Since many of these infections, especially STIs, present no symptoms, it's easy to opt out of testing.</p><p>This is obviously a bad idea. It's much smarter to get tested regularly and, if necessary, treated. Encourage your partners and friends to get tested — without making fun — and be forthcoming and honest if you have an infection. Use condoms religiously, and when your healthcare provider inquires about your activities, be honest.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjAxMzk4MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjE1Nzk2Nn0.aNO_juWC7eiHw9FeIbDm9FzpbeZFuGlFCoZfMXQSD4s/img.jpg?width=980" id="0e1c1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="040584d269d8e02c06c28877e222311d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: celiafoto/Shutterstock
A study finds an increasing number of Americans live with serious mental issues and their access to healthcare is getting worse.
Danger is at hand, and you may have voted for it. Science educator Bill Nye weaves a passionate argument for the importance of science literacy in a country's elected leaders.
It’s not unusual to hear someone openly say that they can’t do math at all; that they can’t figure out the percentage to tip on a bill. If someone said that chemistry hurts their brain and they can’t even look at an equation, or that they have no idea how a certain part of the human body does what it does, that wouldn’t be too surprising. These are usually light-hearted statements that go down well – many of us would sympathize, nod and say: yeah, me too.
One researcher called the rule an “oversimplification.”
I remember one incident with an ice cream cone when I was a small child. Ecstatic to receive it, as soon as I brought it closer to my lips, it swayed then tumbled onto the ground with a plop. I looked up at my father with big eyes. He quickly yelled at me and refused to buy me another. I cried. Then, I pouted all the way home. By nature I’m a clumsy oaf. There’s no denying that. Since that time and with more suitable fare, I’ve cleverly evoked the “five-second rule.”