Infectious Diseases

Malarial Mosquito with Seussical Whimsy

During World War II, Theodore Geissel (better known as Dr. Seuss) joined the war effort doing what he did best, creating cartoons and educating. He was commissioned as a captain in the US Army. The Contagions blog discovered this image on the USDA Young Dipterists website and NPR picked the story up.?á This is the first page of a handbook for soldiers to help educate them on the prevention of malaria by avoiding mosquito bites…no partying with Ann for them!

Perhaps those of us in South Louisiana should be taking his advice 70 years later with West Nile outbreaks making the news.?á Of course the Centers for Disease Control have released a feature with some more modern advice.

Urban Chicken: Keeping Poultry at Home

As the “locavore” movement continues to blossom across the country, it’s no longer only rural citizens who have access to less-industrialized food options: even residents of cities are finding ways to grow their own produce, or at least acquire it from nearby sources. This provides more economical and healthy options for cooks. A part of this movement has been the choice of some urban homesteaders to raise their own poultry.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) currently has a page on its website with helpful information about Keeping Backyard Poultry. The major point that the CDC addresses is the prevention of the spread of Salmonella, an illness that is transmitted in a variety of ways. It can be spread through contact with poultry (or any birds), including?áchickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.

Salmonellosis is an infection with the bacteria called?áSalmonella.?áMost persons infected with?áSalmonella?ádevelop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the?áSalmonella?áinfection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. The CDC highly recommends hand-washing and careful hygiene to anyone handling live poultry or poultry products such as meat or eggs. All poultry and poultry-related equipment and supplies should be considered contaminated even if the animals look healthy.

Interestingly enough, the?áTimes-Picayunepublished an article?álast year that examined troubles with feral chicken populations which have grown since Hurricane Katrina. Recently, local ABC affiliate WGNO-TV covered a story about the difficulties in catching feral chickens in the city. New Orleans has its own special set of issues when it comes to the cosmopolitan bird.

Sports & Stomach Flu

Photo Credit: F.P. Williams, U.S. EPA

Various local news agencies are reporting that the LSU baseball team was missing 16 players for their game last night due to stomach flu.

Coincidentally, the CDC is featuring Norovirus Surveillance on their webpage yesterday. We published a publication alert post in November about Norovirus in NBA players.

World Pneumonia Day!

Surprisingly, just about every 20 seconds a child under age 5 succumbs to the disease pneumonia. ?áIn its 2nd year of existence, the Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia is raising awareness about the disease. It is preventable and there are effective and affordable options that help protect children. The symptoms include but are not limited to: cough, shaking chills, fever, fatigue, and muscle pain. Its symptoms often mimic those of the flu but when it doubt, get checked out.

?áFor more info, visit:

Saints Loss Due to Norovirus?

A new study in the December 1st issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases exams the spread of the Norovirus among NBA players in the 2010-2011 season.

Let’s blame the Saints loss last Sunday to the Rams on a stomach bug and hope they’re better this week for their game against the Buccaneers.

Link to the pdf of the article is available to LSUHSC faculty, staff & students. It can be accessed off-campus with a valid LSUHSC library barcode & PIN. You can find more information at our remote access webpage.

Public Health Film Goes to War

The National Library of Medicine has released a very interesting addition to their History of Medicine collection: World War II-era public health films.

These films cover a wide range of public health issues pertinent to this era. Five animated films starring ÔÇ£Private SnafuÔÇØ inform on issues like Personal Cleanliness, Cleaning Mess Gear and Drinking Water. There are also non-animated films that once educated military personnel on yellow fever, malaria and the use of DDT which was believed would cure common diseases. Interested to learn what information was important for women at war? Don’t worry- there is a film on that as well.

Available films have minor defects and scratches but are definitely worth watching!

Zombie Apocalypse

Since the Centers for Disease Control is often featured in popular movies and books about deadly outbreaks, their emergency preparedness blog has created a post for the most deadly of emergencies, the Zombie Apocalypse.

We’d like to think the CDC was partially inspired by the 2006 Zombrarian visit to our campus.


NLM exhibit

NLM exhibit

With the news that Cholera has taken over 100 lives in Haiti, a National Library of Medicine exhibit on the history of the disease came to mind.

Louisiana has had its own battle with the disease. As recently as 1986, cases of cholera were reported in South Louisiana, including Jefferson Parish. Not to mention the over 4,000 people who died of the disease in New Orleans in 1832.

Happy Anniversary to Streptomycin

October 19th was the 67th anniversary of the discovery of streptomycin which proved to be effective against tuberculosis and other penicillin resistant infectious diseases.

Flu Shots

Flu shots will be offered to LSUHSC New Orleans faculty, staff and students during the first week of October, brought to you by the School of Nursing. This year the flu shot will be administered in one dose and will help protect you and others against H3N2, influenza B, and the H1N1 viruses.

Those who should avoid vaccinations are:

  • Infants under 6 months of age
  • People with egg allergies
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
  • People with a mild to severe illness
  • People who have developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of getting the flu vaccine

What: Flu Shots
When: October 6th, 7th & 8th b/w 9am ÔÇô 2:30pm
Where: School of Nursing ÔÇô Room 5B12 (5th floor)
Cost: $15.00 for faculty & staff; payable to LSUHSC-NO by check or money order (Cost is free for students)

James Carroll & Yellow Fever

110 years ago today, Major James Carroll, a US Army Physician, “allowed an infected mosquito to feed on him in an attempt to isolate the means of transmission of yellow fever. Carroll developed a severe case of yellow fever, helping his colleague, Army pathologist Walter Reed, prove that mosquitoes transmit this often-deadly disease (from the Library of Congress).” James Carroll is one of the Yellow Fever Commission physicians featured on the Enrique Alferez frieze in the LSUHSC Library Commons. The featured men are Walter Reed, Aristides Agramonte (for whom the Library was originally named), Jesse Lazear, and James Carroll.

Conquest of Yellow Fever frieze by Enrique Alferez

Conquest of Yellow Fever frieze by Enrique Alferez


Physiology Department Head, Patricia Molina has been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health for the study of how cannabinoids produce subtle changes in gene activity that affect how a person responds to HIV infection. The award was announced via EurekaAlert and LSUHSC twitter feed.

As the Times-Picayune reported the grant “will study how marijuana components called cannabinoids produce changes in gene activity that affects the body’s response to the AIDS virus.” The award will be dispersed over five years.

Award Recipients

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Library was chosen as a recipient for the Historical Preservation and Digitization Award. This $25,000 grant is awarded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region.

The title of the project is ÔÇ£Digitization of the Aristides Agramonte Collection on Yellow FeverÔÇØ and will be led by the Principle Investigators, Deborah Sibley and Molly Knapp.

The goal of the project is to digitize 149 rare books and journals identified as the first materials acquired for the LSU medical school library. The books belonged to Dr. Aristides Agramonte, a prominent pathologist and a proposed department chair at LSU before the School of Medicine opened; he passed away before he could begin his position. His collection includes a large number of early publications on yellow fever. Dr. Agromonte is a central figure in the historical Enrique Alferez frieze entitled ÔÇ£The Conquest of Yellow Fever.ÔÇØ This sculpture now hangs in the Library Commons.

Iconography of Contagion

Drink Only Approved Water

Drink Only Approved Water

The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine has a new online exhibit, the Iconography of Contagion, an exhibition of twentieth century health posters. The exhibition offers some posters from NLM’s collection as well as an historical perspective on their necessity.

Infectious Disease iPhone apps

May’s issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases features a column on infectious diseases resources for the iPhone. You can read the entire article here. Two apps that may interest students are Microbiology Wiz with Immunology ($0.99) and Lange Microbiology and Infectious Disease Flash Cards ($34.99). Both are flashcard style review applications, allowing you to study microbiology on your iPhone.

Surfing The Web: Infectious Diseases Resources for the iPhone
Richard L. Oehler, Kevin Smith, and John F. Toney
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010 50:9, 1268-1274