All posts by Barry

Swine Flu at State Fairs


State Fair season may have come to a close for this year, but some news from Michigan and Ohio tells us about something we should know about when we attend these events: swine flu.

Brevis Swine Flu

Most of us became familiar with swine flu, or influenza A (H3N2), because of news coverage of outbreaks in 2012. It is called a variant virus, which is when a flu virus normally found in pigs is found in a person.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed variant swine flu viruses in 18 people in August of this year. All who were infected had attended agricultural fairs; 16 of the 18 were children, seven under five years old. Four individuals said they’d passed through a swine barn, and 13 said they’d directly touched or handled a pig. One individual was hospitalized, and all recovered fully.

So what should we know before we go to fairs or zoos? Dr. Greg Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s vaccine research group and member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, says, “Recognize that these animals carry influenza viruses — they’re the source of them — and so appropriate and hygiene is important. Kids need to have their hands washed well.” Particularly after petting an animal, children should not eat until they wash their hands or use sanitizer. Teach kids not to put their hands on their face or in their mouth while at the fair. If your child get sick after the fair or zoo, and does not get better, seek medical attention. Children who are 6 months and older should get annual flu shots, as recommended by the CDC, which helps stop variant viruses from spreading wildly, and also helps decrease the number of new viruses.



3 essentials for effective handwashing



20 seconds.

That’s it.

Wash your hands — often. It’s single most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick. Scrubbing hands and wrists well is a must too, and then a good rinse. That’s all it takes.

Did you know people commonly catch colds when they rub their nose or their eyes after their hands have been contaminated with the cold virus? If you picked up germs from other people or from contaminated surfaces, you’ll get rid of them if you wash your hands well.

So parents–what can you do? Encourage children and others by setting a good example. Wash your hands properly in front of children to teach them that hand washing with soap and water is more than a chore — it’s an important way to prevent colds, sore throats and infections.


FDA Ban on Antibacterial Soap?


You may have heard recently that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ban on certain ingredients found in antibacterial soaps and washes. What exactly does this mean?



Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research explained, “Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water.”


Essentially, by using products labeled as antibacterial, many consumers think they’re receiving health benefits that simply aren’t there. In fact, according to a paper published in 2007, regularly using antibacterial soaps may be linked, over time, to the growth of a dangerous drug-resistant bacteria. Researchers concluded, “Further studies of this issue are encouraged.”


One co-author of the paper noted, “…the public still has the option of using hand sanitizers, which work faster and better than the current consumer ‘antibacterial’ soaps….”


Back in 2013, the FDA proposed a rule requiring manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to prove their products were more effective than plain soap and water. No data establishing safety and effectiveness of these products was provided.


Companies affected have almost a year to either remove the ingredients from their products (triclosan and triclocarban are the most commonly used chemicals) or no longer market their products before the final rule goes into effect September 6, 2017.


In the meantime, you can rest easy knowing that your hand sanitizer and soap don’t need to be labeled as ‘antibacterial’ in order to be effective. Just make sure you’re still washing your hands!



Brevis is offering a promo-code discount for Fall 2016 that will start Sept. 20 and go through October 31, 2016.
The promo code is “Fall16” which will apply a 10% discount to orders over $25.00.

4 Tips for a Safe Summer Picnic



With summer in full swing you’ve probably attended a picnic or two. Don’t let the great outdoors leave you vulnerable to germs and infection. Here are 4 tips to have a healthy summer picnic:


Keep cold food cold. Use gel packs or ice in your cooler to keep cold food at or below 40 ℉ and prevent the growth of bacteria.


Keep hot food hot. When grilling, cook your food thoroughly and keep it hot until serving. You may want to bring your food thermometer: the safe temperature for ground beef is 160 ℉, and for chicken it’s 165 ℉.


Make sure all food prep and eating surfaces are clean. Use disinfecting wipes to clean tables and chairs. Keep plates and utensils clean, and avoid cross-contamination while preparing food.


Have everyone wash their hands! Before preparing and eating food (and after touching most anything outdoors) simple soap and clean water from a jug will do for an outdoor handwashing. Moist towelettes are also a good option.


Hand-washing remains the most effective prevention against the spread of germs in home and community settings. For extra confidence in your family’s hand-washing abilities, use GlitterBug Gel or Potion, and help everyone enjoy the rest of a safe, healthy summer.



Infection Prevention and Your Cat?



We all know one of the most effective ways to stop the spreading of infections is proper hand hygiene. In certain scenarios, however, particularly in big cities, deterring the spread of germs and disease requires other creative solutions.


It’s well known that rats are detrimental to public health. They carry E.coli and C.diff, antibiotic-resistant diseases transmitted to humans through direct contact, such as a rat’s bite. But you don’t have to have up-close interaction with a rat to be vulnerable to their dangers: disease is spread through their urine, feces, and fur (and rats shed a lot).


Cities like Chicago and Vancouver have endured such a massive infestation, rodent task forces have been put in place, with accompanying public awareness campaigns. Residents and business owners have tried to eliminate rats by using methods like traps, poison, and trenches, sometimes spending thousands of dollars on pest control attempts, all to no avail.


The most effective tool they’ve been able to find? Cats. That’s right, they’re not just good for internet videos: cats happen to be effective weapons in public health.


An animal shelter in Chicago called Tree House has contributed greatly to improving public health with their innovative idea of taking rescued cats who aren’t good candidates for adoption, and putting them to work. The Cats at Work project places colonies of cats where they’re needed most. The result is rat-free yards and buildings. With cats on the scene, rats– and diseases they carry– have been eradicated from residences and businesses alike.


As always keep washing your hands, but if you need more help, don’t be afraid to employ your cat.




Germs can be found in the strangest places (so wash your hands)!

Germs  hide in the strangest places.

So make sure you always wash your hands well, and use Brevis products to ensure your hands are clean!

“The bulk of germs are hiding where you least suspect—playground equipment, the phone receiver, ATMS and elevator buttons.” – Charles Gerba, professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona


(Post and credit for facts:

Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo: Learning the Correct Way to Wash Hands

Learning to wash your hands the right way is no laughing matter. Jimmy Kimmel wanted to make sure he was doing it right, so he reached out to Dr. Poland from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, who is a specialist in infectious disease.

Check the video out below, and then CLICK HERE to look at all the GLITTERBUG kits that can help ensure you are washing your hands correctly too!

Transient Germs Facts


Skin is our first line of defense against invasions that can cause illness, but skin – especially the skin ON our hands – can also transport countless microorganisms.

Our hands are incredibly versatile. We use them to push, pull, grab, and hold things. Because of this they are constantly picking up and depositing transient microbes. Our hands then become carriers of a diversity of microbes, some of which can cause us harm. We grant many of them access into our bodies when we touch the food we eat, our eyes, noses and mouths. Transient germs live primarily on the surface of the skin and can easily be transferred. The good news is that you can remove them with proper handwashing or render them harmless with hand sanitizer. Washing your hands frequently is the best way to prevent spreading them. Below are a few of the more common culprits