Men with beards carry more germs than dogs, according to a new study

5cb4cd9cd2ce7845c0149206-1536-1152According to a new study, dogs are cleaner than men with beards.

 

  • Dogs are cleaner than men with beards, according to a new study.
  • Researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland took swabs from the beards of 18 men and found that they all contained bacteria. They also collected a sample from the necks of 30 dogs.
  • Only 23 out of 30 dogs tested showed high microbial counts similar to bearded men.
  • “Our study shows that bearded men harbor a significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains than dogs,” Professor Andreas Gutzeit told the Daily Mail.

 

There are more germs in men’s beards than in dogs‘ fur, according to new research.

Researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland took swabs from the beards of 18 men and found every beard contained bacteria.

The team, who were testing whether it was hygienic to let dogs into the same MRI machines as humans, compared the beard samples to swabs taken from the necks of 30 dogs.

All the bearded men, aged between 18 – 76, showed high microbial counts, while only 23 out of 30 dogs had the same. The rest had moderate levels.

Seven beards harbored germs that could be harmful to human health.

“Our study shows that bearded men harbor a significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains than dogs,” Andreas Gutzeit told The Mail on Sunday.

“On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men,” he added.

Beard hair is coarser and more curly so traps dirt more easily, with hair around the nostrils and mouth the prime hotbed for bacteria.

Keith Flett, founder of the Beard Liberation Front, was relaxed about the findings: “I think it’s possible to find all sorts of unpleasant things if you took swabs from people’s hair and hands and then tested them,” he told The Times.

Share or comment on this article:

Study finds enough fecal matter on McDonald’s touchscreens to put people in the hospital

c4fadcdf-d5ac-4c3b-b4d0-cbc1e18609dc-large16x9_McDsStudy finds enough fecal matter on McDonald’s touchscreens to put people in the hospital. (File photo: KUTV)

 

Researchers tested touchscreens at eight different McDonald’s locations and found fecal bacteria on every one of them, according to findings published in Metro.

The British paper tested six locations in London, and two in Birmingham and found enough bacterial matter to put people in the hospital.

Senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University Dr Paul Matewele told Metro:

We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals. For instance Enterococcus faecalis is part of the flora of gastrointestinal tracts of healthy humans and other mammals. It is notorious in hospitals for causing hospital acquired infections.’

Yikes.Researchers noticed that most people would not wash their hands between touching the screens and picking up and eating their meals.One screen tested positive for staphylococcus, a bacteria that can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.”Seeing Staphylococcus on these machines is worrying because it is so contagious,” Dr. Matewale said.He continued:

It starts around people’s noses, if they touch their nose with their fingers and then transfer it to the touchscreen someone else will get it, and if they have an open cut which it gets into, then it can be dangerous. ‘There is a lot of worries at the moment that staphylococcus is becoming resistant to antibiotics. However, it is still really dangerous in places like Africa where it can cause toxic shock.

McDonald’s responded to Metro’s investigation saying:

Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day. All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.

Ticks and Insects Are Making More People Sick, and the Problem Is Only Getting Worse!

The Cayenne tick, Amblyomma cajennense, can spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.Image: Christopher Paddock/James Gathany (CDC)

A new report out Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights a scary reality: Diseases spread by six- and eight-legged bugs are becoming more common. And worse than that, health officials across the country seem woefully incapable of dealing with them.

The report’s authors looked at available data on vector-borne diseases collected through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System from 2004 to 2016. In total, there were over 640,000 reported cases of 16 diseases, and diseases caused by mosquitoes, fleas, and tick bites had more than tripled during that time period. Ticks caused 77 percent of these cases, and the incidence of tickborne diseases more than doubled.

“These data indicate persistent, locality-specific risks and a rising threat from emerging vector-borne diseases, which have increasingly encumbered local and state health departments tasked with preventing, detecting, reporting, and controlling them,” the CDC authors wrote.

Lyme disease was by far the most common disease, accounting for 82 percent of all tickborne illness. But nine germs never before seen in the US were also detected. There were newly discovered diseases, such as the tickborne Heartland and Bourbon viruses. There were also previously known diseases that had never been documented in the US, such as cases of relapsing fever caused by the bacteria Borrelia miyamotoi. And there were diseases that had crossed country borders for the first time, such as local cases of the mosquitoborne Zika virus that plagued Puerto Rico in 2016.

The true toll of vector-borne disease is likely far higher than the official tally, the CDC authors noted. It’s estimated that Lyme disease alone infects 300,000 Americans annually, a number tenfold higher than the reported count. And for every reported serious case of West Nile Virus—the most common mosquitoborne disease in the US—that damages the nervous system, there are anywhere from 30 to 70 milder cases that go unnoticed. Based on that math, there might have actually been between 39,300 to 91,700 of these cases in 2016, compared to the 840 that were reported.

The report doesn’t detail any commonly cited reasons for the increase, most notably climate change, something the World Health Organization cites as a key driver of vector-borne disease. In an interview with the New York Times, lead author of the report and director of the vector-borne diseases division at the CDC, Lyle Peterson, repeatedly refused to point the finger at climate change, only going so far as to discuss the likely importance of warmer weather.

Under different circumstances, Peterson’s hesistance to mention climate change could be seen as nothing more than the actions of a typically cautious scientist. But given that the Trump administration and Trump himself have been reluctant to even utter the phrase, the implications are much more worrying. In a completely normal statement, Peterson went on to tell the Times that he was “not under any pressure to say anything or not say anything” about climate change.

Other scientists aren’t as reluctant to blame it, though.

“We know that poverty is a factor as well as shifts in human migration and transportation,” Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Texas’ Baylor College of Medicine, told Gizmodo via email. “But also of great importance is climate change.”

Warmer seasons, for instance, expand the territory that troublesome tick and insect species can call home, as well as extend the time that humans come into contact with them. And extreme bursts of hot weather can provide the kindling for mosquitoborne outbreaks to spread further.

Hotez recently published a paper examining the rise of vector-borne diseases within Texas, including Zika, the fleaborne typhus, and Chagas disease, spread by a cousin of bed bugs known as the kissing bug. In it, he noted that by 2050, Texas is expected to spend 80 to 100 days blanketed in sweltering temperatures 95 degrees Fahrenheit and higher, compared to the 40 days a year seen over the previous three decades. That change, coupled with rising sea levels, is likely to contribute to the rise of these diseases.

“So I agree that climate change needs to be put out there as a major driver of vector-borne disease in the US just as it is in Southern Europe (return of malaria to Italy and Greece), schistosomiasis in Corsica, and West Nile Virus across Southern Europe,” said Hotez.

Of immediate concern, too, is the fact that few organizations and health officials have the tools needed to best combat these diseases. A recent national survey, cited by the CDC report, found that 84 percent of vector control organizations are lacking at least one of five essential aspects to their work, such as overall surveillance or ways to monitor growing resistance to pesticides.

[CDC via New York Times]

Please SHARE with your friends and family!