Proper handwashing, pooping require proper tools: Dirty school bathrooms give students diarrhea in Vietnam

And it’s not just Vietnam.

Dirty toilets and bathrooms gave 40 per cent of Ho Chi Minh City students diarrhea, according to UNICEF Viet Nam.

dirty.bathroomLast month, the city’s Health Department reported that 220 students at District 12’s Nguyen Khuyen Elementary School were unable to go to school, as they suffered a digestion-related disease caused by unclean school toilets. Two children in the southern city died in July from a similar condition.

The Ministry of Health reported 3,719 diarrhea cases in HCM City in the first six months of 2014 out of 301,570 nationwide in the first eight months.

School bathrooms and toilets in urban areas of the city are often in poor condition due to the large number of students and teachers that use them, as well as the lack of soap and fresh water for cleaning.

vietnam.ToiletThe problem is even worse in rural areas of HCM City, where schools have no bathrooms at all. In those areas, 27 per cent of children have to go to the toilet outside the school.

Animals can make humans poop: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Domestic animal husbandry, a common practice globally, can lead to zoonotic transmission of enteric pathogens. However, this risk has received little attention to date. This systematic review and meta-analysis examines the evidence for an association between domestic exposure to food-producing animals and cases of human diarrhea and specific enteric infections.

family.guy.diarrheaWe performed a systematic review of available literature to examine domestic livestock and poultry as risk factors for diarrhea and applied pre-determined quality criteria. Where possible, we carried out meta-analysis of specific animal–pathogen pairs.

We found consistent evidence of a positive association between exposure to domestic food-producing animals and diarrheal illness across a range of animal exposures and enteric pathogens. Out of 29 studies included in the review, 20 (69.0%) reported a positive association between domestic animal exposure and diarrhea. Domestic exposure to poultry revealed a substantial association with human campylobacteriosis (OR 2.73, 95% CI 1.90–3.93).

Our results suggest that domestic poultry and livestock exposures are associated with diarrheal illness in humans. Failure to ascertain the microbial cause of disease may mask this effect. Exposure to domestic animals should be considered a risk factor for human diarrheal illness and additional studies may identify potential mitigation strategies to address this risk. 

Human diarrhea infections associated with domestic animal husbandry: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg, March 2014

Laura D. Zambrano, Karen Levy, Neia P. Menezes and Matthew C. Freeman

That’s a lot of poop: nearly 179 million cases of acute diarrhea occur each year in US

Washing produce is never enough, but that’s what a researcher says in a review of causes of foodborne illness. A better suggestion would be rigorous on-farm food safety programs.

lettuceIn the United States, approximately 179 million cases of acute diarrhea occur each year, and most of those cases are entirely preventable, a researcher from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) concluded in a New England Journal of Medicine review article.

Herbert L. DuPont, M.D., director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the UTHealth School of Public Health, examined current causes, prevention strategies and treatment for acute diarrhea in healthy adults. He says the main causes of diarrheal infections include norovirus outbreaks and foodborne pathogens, with most coming from contaminated leafy green vegetables.

Produce is the most common source of diarrhea due to foodborne intestinal illness. Most consumers are not aware that 98 percent of spinach and lettuce bought from grocery stores is not inspected and much of it comes from developing countries. One study showed that of the 2 percent that is inspected, 40 percent failed inspection and could be contaminated by diarrhea-producing E. coli or Salmonella.

“Consumers need to give their leafy greens a bath and a shower in order to make sure they are safe to eat,” says DuPont, instructing that leafy greens must be soaked in a bowl of water or the sink and then rinsed thoroughly by running water through a colander before consumption in order to avoid contaminants.

The four main causes of serious childhood diarrhea

Just four pathogens underpin most cases of serious diarrhea in children—the second leading killer of young children worldwide—according to a study published today in The Lancet. reports that out of nearly 40 diarrhea-causing germs, the researchers identified four primary culprits: rotavirus, Cryptosporidium, a toxic type of Escherichia coli, and Shigella. The winnowing of the list could allow health experts to design targeted health campaigns.

“I think what we have done is allow doctors and public health experts to prioritize and potentially save thousands of lives,” says Karen Kotloff, a pediatrician at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and first author of the study. Diarrheal diseases kill an estimated 800,000 young children each year, second only to pneumonia, which kills around 1.2 million.

100 athletes stricken by diarrhea in Philippines

Some 100 athletes, coaches and officials of the Naga City delegation were stricken by diarrhea last week, just days before the start of the Palarong Bicol at the Catanduanes Athletic Complex this afternoon.

The Catanduanes Tribune reports that as of Feb. 22, the Department of Health Center for Health Development Bicol (DOH CHD Bicol) has yet to determine with certainty what caused the ailment pending the results of the epidemiological candelarioinvestigation jointly done by the team of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) of the province, the DOH-CHD Bicol and its Provincial Health Team (PHT) stationed in Catanduanes.

The team has already sent for laboratory tests rectal swabs taken from 20 of those athletes as well as two water samples taken from filtered water supplied by a water refilling station in Virac.

The 500-person delegation arrived at its billeting school – Virac Center Elementary School – beginning Feb. 18. The following day, two delegates began manifesting watery stools three times or more in 24 hours, with the number of cases reaching a hundred the next day. Sixty-seven of those were athletes from the elementary and secondary level while 33 were adults.

An initial report submitted by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Lubelia Sanchez to Governor Joseph Cua identified two probable causes of the diarrhea. The report said that athletes may have drank contamined water from the ice mixed in the filtered water, improperly handled water or poorly boiled water from the dispenser. On the other hand, it said, food eaten by the delegation may have been contaminated due to improper food handling and preparation.

A survey of the delegation caterer’s area revealed the absence of drainage, unprotected food, utensils placed in an uncovered basin on the floor, and food servers not wearing head net, apron and were without health certificates. Ice bought from a nearby ice plant was mixed with the filtered water.

Egypt’s prime minister, says ‘unclean’ breasts cause diarrhea

Egyptian Prime Minister and wannabe woman’s hockey fan, Hisham Kandil, said on TV that a persistent epidemic of diarrhea among young children is due to women’s “unclean” breasts.

According to a Huffington Post translation of the original video clip, the prime minister said he has seen children get diarrhea because mothers EGYPT-POLITICSare too ignorant to know to clean their breasts before breastfeeding their infants.

During his remarks, several of the meeting’s female attendees seemed uncomfortable, Al Arabiya’s English website notes.

Kandil received his doctorate degree in biological and agricultural engineering with a minor in water resources and worked at Egypt’s National Water Research Center (NWRC) for more than a decade.

Million days lost to diarrhea spur military’s cure search

Napoleon knew the strategic advantage of a large, well-fed army.

One without diarrhea.

In 1795, the French military offered a cash prize of 12,000 francs for a new method to preserve food. Nicolas Appert suggested canning and the process was first proven in 1806 in test with the French navy and the prize awarded in 1809 or 1810. The packaging prevents microorganisms from entering and proliferating inside.

The French Army began experimenting with issuing canned foods to its soldiers, but the slow process of canning foods and the even slower development and transport stages prevented the army from shipping large amounts across the French Empire, and the war ended before the process was perfected. Unfortunately for Appert, the factory which he had built with his prize money was razed in 1814 by Allied soldiers invading France.

So it’s worthy the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which developed packet-switching that was key to the development of the Internet in 1969, long before Al Gore invented the Internet, now wants to develop a commercially viable medicine that delivers quick, temporary protection for soldiers from a variety of diseases such as the flu, diarrhea and malaria.

According to Bloomberg, diarrhea struck as many as 60 percent of deployed troops at the start of the Iraq war, said Mark Riddle, a U.S. Navy commander who performs military medical research at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. More than 1 million service days were sacrificed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “due to severe diarrhea in deployed forces,” DARPA said in program documents on a federal website.

DARPA typically picks projects where the expected success rate is 10 percent or less, said Stephen Albert Johnston, co-director of the Center for Innovations in Medicine at Arizona State University.

“They’re supposed to be the high-risk guys,” Johnston said in a phone interview. “If they get too high of a success rate, they figure they aren’t taking enough risks.”

Not worth eating unless 50% chance of diarrhea: Bourdain does Daily Show

Witticisms like that have endeared fans of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, but barf and diarrhea is no fun, especially for kids.

Bourdain’s good with a quip, as he showed last night on The Daily Show, but still comes across like Hunter S. Thompson-lite.

Eater reports that Bourdain, whose job is "what people would do if they didn’t have to work," stopped by The Daily Show to talk about the upcoming season of No Reservations, premiering Monday.

Jon Stewart comments on the less-than-hygienic places Bourdain travels on the show — "I have gotten diarrhea from watching" — to which Bourdain replies, "If there’s not at least a 50% chance of diarrhea when you eat something, it’s almost not worth eating." Also, Bourdain says the worst food comes not from the poorest countries (that’s some of the best), but places where people just aren’t interested in food. Not liking food? Yeah, that’s like saying "I’m not interested in music, and you know, I’m not particularly interested in sex either."

Food can be adventurous and safe. So can sex.

The clip is at for those in the U.S. But it worked for me via Eater.

Athletes stricken by runs at Southeast Asian Games

Up to half of 11 national sport delegations at the ongoing Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia suffered from diarrhea.

Four days after the games opened, more cases of diarrhea were reported at the athlete village. It seems that the diarrhea epidemic is expanding at the athlete village’s dining-room.

Singapore reported 22 athletes with diarrhea, half of them are swimmers who took meals at the athlete village’s kitchen. Four athletes who stay in a hotel outsider the village also suffer from diarrhea.

Singaporean shooter Jasmine Ser said she could not defend her championship because of diarrhea. “I’m very disappointed because we have only several cuisines a day. But even though they could not ensure food hygiene. The Spaghetti I took had strong taste. Anyway, it is not the excuse for my failure,” she said.

Thailand, meanwhile, has over 10 swimmers who had to visit toilets very often. Even coach Ren Chunsheng is not an exception. “Some of my swimmers got in and out the toilet from 3am,” the coach said.

A female swimmer lost over 13 seconds compared to her best record in women’s 200m free-style event.

Malaysia announced to have 10 gymnasts and shooters with diarrhea. Shooter Muhammad Ezuan, 22, said he ranked 13th for men’s 10m air-rifle event because of diarrhea. “Everything that I took went out. I had no strength to hold my rifle and I could not shoot well. It’s ashamed” he said.

Aryaduta, the only five-star hotel in Palembang, is the provider of food for the athlete village. However, many athletes complained about the food quality.

Don’t swim with the runs: crypto outbreak hits Johnson County

An outbreak of cryptosporidium has prompted the Johnson County Health Department to ask people to stay out of swimming pools if they’ve had diarrhea recently.

In the past two weeks, the department has received reports of 35 cases of cryptosporidiosis, Nancy Tausz, the department’s disease containment director, told the Kansas City Star Friday.

Other cases have been reported recently in the area, Tausz said. And schools are seeing children returning to class with diarrhea, a key symptom, she said.

Shortly before Labor Day 2007, six subdivision swimming pools in Johnson County were linked to a significant crypto outbreak. Health officials suspected toddlers with full diapers were the chief culprits. The pools were reopened after being treated with massive amounts of chlorine.