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June 2008 Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource Highlights Shingles Vaccine for Pain Prevention, Tips to Avoid Antibiotic Resistant Infections, and Benefits of Broad Genetic Testing
Date:6/24/2008

hes after each use.

Get infections tested: If an infection requires treatment, ask the care provider to take a culture to confirm what bacteria are present before you are given an antibiotic. If you test positive for a staphylococcus (staph) infection, ask that a culture be tested specifically for MRSA in case you need a special antibiotic.

Use antibiotics appropriately: When you take antibiotics, take all doses even when you start feeling better. Don't demand antibiotics for viral illnesses; antibiotics don't work with viruses. Taking too many antibiotics over time could become a detriment because the medication's effectiveness can be compromised by overuse.

Use antibacterial products sparingly: Antibacterial soaps and cleaning products probably don't prevent infections at home and may make these products less effective in hospitals.

Take precautions in the hospital: Ask all hospital staff and visitors to wash their hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before touching you. Ask care providers to wipe stethoscopes and other equipment with alcohol. Don't set food or utensils directly on tables or beds. Make sure that intravenous tubes and catheters are inserted under sterile conditions.

Benefits of Broad Genetic Testing Still Limited

Five years ago, scientists finished mapping the complete human genetic code, but genetic assessment of disease risk remains in its infancy, according to the June issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource.

Scientists know that people share essentially the same genetic makeup, differing only by one-tenth of 1 percent. By studying that small variation, they hope to explain why one person is healthy and another sick and which treatments are best suited for each individual.

Scientists have identified "simple" genetic disorders caused by mutation of a single gene, for example, sickle cell anemia. Much more research is necessary on common diseases such as cancer, heart disease and d
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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