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Your Disaster Decontamination Guide: Step-by-Step Mega Cleaning

Your Disaster Decontamination Guide: Step-by-Step Mega Cleaning

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

This is part 2 in the universal-precautions series. See part 1—your disaster fashion guide—here

Imagine there’s a long-term disaster. An infectious disease has broken out. It could be something as common as a stomach virus or as devastating as Ebola. When medical care is scarce, either could be deadly … and both involve the expulsion of infectious fluids, such as diarrhea (and, in Ebola’s case, blood).

Two of your family members have gotten the disease. It’s up to you to care for them.

So you put on your “personal protective equipment” and get to work. But when you get a break from your caregiving responsibilities, there’s another step you need to take to better protect yourself from the disease. It’s part two of the “universal precautions.”  (Part one was putting on that protective gear.) You need to disinfect your environment.

How to Clean Up Blood and Other Potentially Infectious Fluids

Disinfecting your surroundings means not just wiping up blood, vomit, and other fluids but cleaning them up in such a way that you kill all the contagious germs they’ve put into your environment.

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Your Disaster Fashion Guide: The Outfit That Fights Diseases

Your Disaster Fashion Guide: The Outfit That Fights Diseases | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Back when I was growing up, I don’t think the phrase “universal precautions” was in a health care worker’s vocabulary. Now, we’re well-versed in such “precautions”—techniques that help prevent spreading diseases. But back then, people were more lax.

We lived more like you might live at home with your family today—which is not like you’d want to live during a disaster.

Back then, sure, people with highly contagious diseases were isolated, but few health care workers were afraid of getting a little blood on them from someone with no obvious illness. (Of course they should have been because people did get hepatitis from contaminated needle sticks, cuts, etc.)

Even when I was in training, I knew of a pathologist who examined surgical specimens gloveless so he could get a feel of the texture.

Then came AIDS, and everything changed.

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Unprecedented Ebola Outbreak. Could It Spread Here?

Unprecedented Ebola Outbreak Happening Now: Could It Spread Here?

This is the third post in my “Long-Term Disaster Diseases” series. See the rest here.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

A new outbreak of Ebola is going on in Africa, and Doctors Without Borders is calling it “an epidemic of a magnitude never seen before”—not because of the number of cases or deaths. There have been more in previous outbreaks. It’s because of how the disease is spreading.

In the past, Ebola has always stayed confined to a small region. This time the same strain of the virus has been found infecting people several hundred miles from the original area.

The questions on the minds of many people who don’t live in Africa are, could it come here? If so, how do I prevent it?

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New! The Survival Doctor Store—All the Supplies I Recommend in One Place

The Survival Doctor's Store and More

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Many people have asked where to find all the medical supplies I’ve mentioned in my posts. Well, you find them all over the place—some in pharmacies, others in outdoors stores, some in health-food stores, and still more in survival outlets.

Compiling an emergency medical kit can call for quite the time—and gas—commitment. So I set out to make life easier.

I searched Amazon, eBay, and other sites and developed my new online “store and more”—a one-stop shop plus supplies guide. In it, you don’t just get what to buy but why. I even share my personal experiences over the years with some of the supplies.

To make it as easy to use as possible, I structured the store into six user friendly sections:

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Why You Need to Start Allergy Treatment Early

Sneezing

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

You have to admit, the commercials are convincing: Your allergies are keeping you inside, virtually blocked from the outdoors. Otherwise you’re sneezing, have watery eyes, just miserable.

You take a pill, and whammo, you can do what you wish. Want to roll in the grass, sniff a little ragweed? No worries. Pet a cat even if they usually make you break out in hives? No problem. Whatever you were allergic to before, you’re not anymore, as long as you take the pill.

But do these allergy medicines actually work? If so, how well? And what about home remedies for allergies? Have they gone the way of the iron lung?

Here’s my take.

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Eye Injuries, Part 2: Punctures, Frostbite, and Chemicals

Eyeball

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Last post, I wrote about the most common eye injuries I see: having something in the eye, a scratched cornea, or both. With these injuries, sometimes you may just start feeling discomfort, never even knowing what happened. But in the injuries I talk about in this post, you’ll know. With them, diagnosis is not the problem. But knowing how to treat them could mean the difference between having permanent damage and healing completely.

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The Most Common Eye Injuries I See and What to Do About Them

Cornea Rust Ring

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

You’re working around your home doing some cleanup, and something hits your eye.

Or you’re hammering a nail or two and start having eye pain out of the blue—a scratching feeling. Something must have gotten in your eye, you figure.

What do you do?

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Thick Toenails: 5 Causes and a Bunch of Treatments

Sometimes you just have to live with thick toenails—and some strong clippers.*

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Several of my Facebook fans have asked what to do for their thick toenails. And to tell the truth, it’s not a trivial question. Thick toenails can be the starting point for bad bruises, infections, even gangrene.

In a disaster situation, these problems could become more likely if you have to do a lot of walking or even just standing. If your shoes press on the toenail, the toe can become quite bruised. Then, if your toes swell from the bruising, the shoes will be tighter on them, causing a dangerous cycle, even to the point of killing some of the tissue under the nail.

So it’s best to treat thick toenails before a disaster rather than during.

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Long-Term-Disaster Diseases Part II: Typhoid Fever

What Is Typhoid Fever?

Some diseases that aren’t a big problem in the most industrialized nations now could become a problem during a long-term disaster. This is the second in a series of posts I’m writing about such diseases. See part one, on typhus, here.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

We don’t hear much about typhoid fever in the United States. To most of us, it’s a mysterious disease that we know is serious, but we’re not sure what it looks like. Is it even really a fever?

We need to be able to recognize it, though, because in certain conditions during a long-term disaster, it could spread rapidly. And proper early treatment dramatically lowers your risk of dying from it.

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The Survival Doctor’s Winter Car-Supplies List

The Survival Doctor’s Winter-Car Supplies List

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

One of my Facebook followers recently asked me what I’d suggest keeping in the car for winter weather. I started to tell her to go to my website, but then I realized, surprise, I don’t have it listed. Well I’m sorry for that, but here’s my list.

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