Richard G. Petty, MD

It’s Not Just Spinach!

The news yesterday of E. coli contaminated spinach must have been enough to make Popeye weep.

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, as of today, 102 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported to CDC from 19 states, and one person in Wisconsin has perished.

Just to re-iterate what you’ve probably heard on the news already: E. coli is often a nasty resistant little bug that is not always killed by cooking. So the best advice is to throw away any spinach that may be suspect. The bacterium can make you very sick. You may have heard that one person has already died and at least a dozen more are in the hospital.

Several years ago there was an egg-borne Salmonella outbreak in the United Kingdom, and we’ve heard of several outbreaks of hepatitis A related to food contamination. There are outbreaks of food poisoning every now and then. And then there is the constant worry about “Mad cow disease,” that led to the wholesale slaughter of animals in the United Kingdom a couple of years ago.

Overall, Secretary Johanns and his team at the United States Department of Agriculture are doing a good job of protecting us.

Be aware, though, that apart from food, there are many other places that bacteria and occasionally viruses can lurk:

  1. Makeup: the ingredients in makeup can make good breeding grounds for some bacteria. Don’t keep makeup for too long, particularly if it’s been in a hot damp place
  2. People carry a lot of bugs. That doesn’t mean that you have to become worried about being around them, but it’s best not to get in an elevator is someone’s coughing or sneezing. I’d like to say the same thing about planes, but that’s usually not practical. I’ve many times had to use homeopathic remedies after a flight to prevent a cold – or worse – from emerging. Others have even taken antibiotics after a long flight next to someone nursing a cold. A bit illogical in my view: most upper respiratory tract infections are viral.
  3. Many bacteria and a few viruses get transferred to hands and doorknobs. You cannot spend your life being terrified of such things: it ruined the life of Howard Hughes, and in real life Adrian Monk would really be suffering. But you can wash you hands – with soap – in warm water for one minute whenever you get the chance. Studies have shown that most people don’t wash their hands properly. And I like those little sterilizing towels that you can carry with you.
  4. Change your toothbrush every 2-3 weeks.
  5. If you can afford them, those Ionic Breeze devices do seem to help keep the air cleaner.
  6. And I’m sure that I do not need to remind you, gentle reader, of the importance of carefully washing your hands after visiting a rest room.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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