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TWiP 58 letters

Trudy writes:

Dear Vincent and Dickson,

Listening to TWiP on cyclosporiasis. Because I am all too aware of the possible contamination of many crops as a former public health nurse who worked in epidemiology for my state (Florida), I always wash my fruits and vegetables with a product called Fit. It may not be perfect in that pathogens are tenacious but I believe it reduces risk. (Could be hopeful thinking, I know.) Also, it does not alter the flavor of even delicate raspberries. I would be interested in what you think of this approach. I have no connection to this product whatsoever other than that of a consumer. I used to add a drop or two of liquid castile soap to fruits and vegetable wash water instead of Fit. Both approaches involve a short soak and gentle but thorough rinsing.

I was working in the Communicable disease clinics when Florida had a multi county outbreak in the 1990s. Our protocols allowed for distribution of stool culture kits then. Before I left my role, the onus was on the private sector. Unfortunately many people do not seek medical attention but treat with OTC remedies and many physicians do not test either. So the great unreported levels of both food and waterborne illnesses is a real challenge to any investigation.

Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries were nestled in my cereal bowl this morning along with a bit of cereal! ;-) Is my approach biofilmsly?

As usual, your podcast is interesting, fun and informative. Happy that Dickson has been more available of late!

Warm and humid regards form Naples, Florida,


Peter writes:

Dear TwiP team,

Interesting if rather gruesome report on the BBC news about a British woman who found that the headaches and pains she experienced on return from a holiday in Peru were due to an infestation of screw worm maggots in her ear.


Suzanne writes:

In case no one's told you yet.

Robin writes:

The Coriolis effect

It even affects bicycle wheel spoke screws.

“Cyclists who regularly travel back and forth between the Northern and Southern hemispheres would be well advised to build up two rear wheels, one for use in each hemisphere...however, there's no need to have two front wheels, since the same front wheel will work in either hemisphere simply by reversing it in the fork!”

Food decontamination:

Back in the old country, decontamination of food items by a potassium permanganate solution was a standard recommendation.

Three stools negative in a row: how often?

cDc: Cult of the dead cow.

So what happens when the pupfish owl dies?

The Alternative Energy Matrix:


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