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April 2012 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for April 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Levaquin Approved to Treat or Prevent Plague

MONDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Approval of the antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin) has been expanded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to include plague, a rare but deadly bacterial infection.

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Text Messages to Parents Promote Flu Shots for Children

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- A text messaging-based intervention increases influenza vaccination compared with usual care in a low-income, urban population, although overall rates of vaccination remain low, according to a study published in the April 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mortality High for Cardiac Device Infective Endocarditis

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with infective endocarditis involving implanted cardiac devices experience high in-hospital and one-year mortality rates, particularly if there is valve involvement, according to a study published in the April 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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2001 to 2010 Saw 74 Percent Drop in Global Measles Mortality

TUESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- From 2001 to 2010, there was a 74 percent decrease in estimated global measles mortality, with mortality in India and the World Health Organization (WHO) African region accounting for most of the estimated cases in 2010, according to a study published online April 24 in The Lancet.

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S. Aureus, Enterotoxins ID'd in Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis

MONDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and S. aureus-secreted enterotoxins (SE) are frequently found in patients with atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC), particularly in those with corneal ulceration, according to a study published online April 10 in Allergy.

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Shingles Vaccine Generally Well Tolerated in Older Adults

MONDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The zoster vaccine is safe and well tolerated in older adults, despite an increased risk of allergic reaction in the days following vaccination, according to a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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CDC: HPV-Associated Cancers Strike More Than 30,000 Yearly

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) are diagnosed in nearly 11 out of 100,000 men and women in the United States annually, and HPV vaccines play an important role in reducing the incidence of those cancers for which screening is not approved, according to a report published in the April 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Albendazole Cuts Enteric Parasite Prevalence in Refugees

WEDNESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The administration of a single 600-mg dose of albendazole to United States-bound refugees prior to departure from Africa and Southeast Asia reduces the prevalence of intestinal nematodes, according to a study published in the April 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Preexposure Chemoprophylaxis Cuts HIV Infection at a Cost

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Models show daily oral preexposure chemoprophylaxis (PrEP) in the general population of men who have sex with men (MSM) could prevent a substantial number of HIV infections, but at a high cost, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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STI Screening Improves With Free, Home-Based Testing

WEDNESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The availability of free and home-based screening tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is associated with a higher rate of screening completion, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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HPV Vaccine Side Effects Not Serious in Young Women

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Younger girls are more likely than adult women to report side effects after receiving the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV4; Gardasil) vaccine, but the side effects are non-serious, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in the Journal of Women's Health.

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Infection May Be Trigger for Venous Thromboembolism

MONDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults recovering from an infection are at increased risk of being hospitalized for a venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published online April 3 in Circulation.

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Resistant Malaria Increasing on Thailand-Myanmar Border

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- From 2001 to 2010, an increase was seen in artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) on the Thailand-Myanmar border, which was largely attributable to parasite genetics, according to a longitudinal study published online April 5 in The Lancet.

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New Combination Malaria Treatment Equally Effective

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Fixed-dose, combination pyronaridine-artesunate treatment is as effective as mefloquine plus artesunate in treating malaria infection, according to a study published in the April 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Antibodies to HIV-1 Proteins Impact Vaccine Efficacy

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Antibodies to HIV-1 proteins may play a role in the efficacy of HIV-1 vaccination, according to a study published in the April 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medical Malpractice Claims Incur Substantial Defense Costs

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Defense costs for medical malpractice claims vary among specialties and are higher for claims that result in indemnity payments, according to a letter published in the April 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Diagnostic Coding May Skew Pneumonia Outcomes Data

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- The decline in pneumonia-related hospitalizations and associated inpatient deaths seen in 2003 to 2009 may be a result of diagnostic coding, rather than an actual improvement in outcomes, according to a study published in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antibiotic-Resistant S. aureus Found in Many Ambulances

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) are found in the majority of advanced life support (ALS) ambulances in the Chicago area, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Inflammatory Regulation Plays Role in Stress, Illness Link

TUESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- People under chronic stress have glucocorticoid receptor resistance (GCR), which is linked to increased risk of illness, according to research published online April 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Malodorous Urine Often Reported for Infants With UTI

MONDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Parental reports of malodorous urine increase the likelihood of a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection (UTI) in young children being evaluated for a suspected infection, according to a study published online April 2 in Pediatrics.

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