February 2010 Briefing - Infectious Disease
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for February 2010. 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.
Resistance Likely to Develop With New Hepatitis C Drugs
THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- New drugs that block the replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are likely to lead to resistance if given as monotherapy and should be given in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, according to a review in the February issue of Gastroenterology.
Panel Expands Annual Flu Vaccination Recommendation
THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In an effort to remove barriers to seasonal influenza vaccination, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has voted to expand the annual influenza vaccination recommendation to include all individuals 6 months and older, taking effect during the 2010/2011 influenza season.
Antiretrovirals During TB Therapy Improve Survival
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV and tuberculosis (TB), starting antiretroviral therapy during TB treatment is associated with better survival; and, in people with HIV, screening for TB should include questions about symptoms other than just chronic cough, according to the results of two studies in the Feb. 25 New England Journal of Medicine.
Successor to Combination Pneumococcal Vaccine Approved
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Prevnar 13 vaccine, a combination shot that protects children aged 6 weeks through 5 years from a host of illnesses, including pneumonia and ear infections, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees
TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
FDA Reviewing Safety of HIV Antiretroviral Combination
TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals and consumers that the HIV drug combination of saquinavir (Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir) may increase the risk of potentially serious cardiac arrhythmias in a dose-dependent manner. This is an early communication from the FDA with ongoing review of the data.
Hospital-Acquired Infections Impose Heavy Burden
TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-acquired sepsis and pneumonia impose a significant financial and clinical burden, according to a study published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while another study found that hospitals that keep costs down do not necessarily have poorer quality of care or higher readmission rates.
Menveo Vaccine Approved for Bacterial Meningitis
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The Novartis vaccine Menveo has been approved to prevent bacterial meningitis and other health problems caused by meningococcal disease, the drug maker said in a news release.
Infectious Disease Not Linked to Future Celiac Disease
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children with an infectious disease at the time of gluten introduction do not appear to have an increased risk of developing celiac disease, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.
Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes
MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.
Tobacco Use Linked to HPV+ Oropharynx Cancer Recurrence
FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) who achieve a complete response to chemoradiation therapy, current smokers are at higher risk of disease recurrence and tend to have worse disease-specific survival, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Clinical Cancer Research.
New System Aims to Improve Blood Transfusion Safety
FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started a national surveillance system to monitor adverse events in patients who receive blood transfusions, the agency has announced.
Program Found to Increase Flu Vaccination Rates
THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Through methods such as multiple vaccination sites and online monitoring of vaccination status, a campaign to increase flu vaccination rates among employees and health care workers at Johns Hopkins has proven effective, according to a study in the February issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
Modest Genetic Differences Seen in Streptococcus Strains
TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Group A Streptococcus strains from successive epidemics have relatively modest genetic differences but very different global gene expression, which may provide clues about their biology, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
H. Pylori Often Unrelated to Children's Gastrointestinal Pain
TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, Helicobacter pylori infection is not likely associated with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), but it may be associated with unspecified abdominal pain (UAP) and epigastric pain, according to a review published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.
Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed
TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cigar and pipe smoking have been linked with higher urine cotinine levels and airflow obstruction, even in those who have never smoked cigarettes, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Keeping Vaccination Records Linked to Greater Compliance
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When parents had children's vaccination records available, children were more likely to be up-to-date on their vaccinations, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.
Rapid H1N1 Flu Test Found to Be of Limited Value in Children
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pediatric H1N1 influenza A virus infection, the rapid influenza diagnostic test has poor sensitivity but excellent specificity, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.
Treating Herpes May Slow HIV in Co-Infected Patients
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients co-infected with HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2, treating the herpes infection with acyclovir likely delays the progression of HIV, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet.
Seminal Plasma, Not Cells May Be Key to HIV Transmission
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV infection resulting from men having sex with men (MSM), the infection is likely transmitted via HIV RNA in the plasma constituent of semen, not by the HIV DNA located in seminal cells, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined
MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.
Immunization Information Systems More Widely Used
FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Immunization information systems (IIS) that consolidate vaccination data from different health care providers and can be used to remind and recall patients are becoming more widely used by vaccination grantees, according to an article published in the Feb. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Mnemonic Device for Patient Decision-Making Assessed
FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians who must quickly assess a patient's capacity to make an emergency treatment decision can now fall back on a new mnemonic device, "CURVES," developed at Johns Hopkins University and reviewed in the February issue of Chest.
Camp Mumps Outbreak Sickens Over 1,500 People
FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of mumps that began at a summer camp in New York in June 2009 has since infected 1,521 people in New York and New Jersey as of the end of January 2010, according to an article published in the Feb. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Myocarditis Linked to Pandemic H1N1 Flu in Children
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Several cases of fulminant myocarditis, a rare complication of viral infection, have been identified among children infected with H1N1 pandemic influenza during a one month period, according to the results of a retrospective chart review published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.
Flu Vaccination Found Safe, Immunogenic in Young Infants
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Babies under 6 months of age, for whom no influenza vaccine is currently licensed, developed protective antibodies after vaccination with a standard infant dose of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) with few adverse events, according to a study in the February issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
Impact of HIV Drug Adherence Programs Evaluated
TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the efficacy of interventions promoting adherence to the drug regimen appears linked to how well standard care is delivered, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Needle Length May Affect Vaccination Results in Obese
TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The reduced immune response seen in obese adolescents and adults following hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination may be due in part to insufficient needle penetration of muscle, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.
H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Racial Disparities in Perinatal HIV Infections Decline Slightly
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparities in perinatal HIV diagnoses have declined in recent years, although African-Americans and Hispanics still account for the majority of infections, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.
FDA Warns of Link Between Natalizumab, Brain Infection
FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified health care professionals and patients that the risk of developing a rare but serious brain infection increases as the number of natalizumab (Tysabri) infusions received increases.
Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours
FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.
Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.
Steroids in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Studied
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may have only a modest benefit in preventing disease exacerbations, according to a systematic review and metaregression published in the February issue of Chest.
Latent Tuberculosis Infection Therapy Compliance Examined
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Shorter regimens and interventions for latent tuberculosis infection targeting patients that reside in a nursing home, jail or shelter; injection drugs users; and employees of health care facilities may improve treatment completion, according to a study in the February issue of Chest.
Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.
Study Finds Antibiotics Benefit Buruli Ulcer Treatment
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Early and limited Buruli ulcer, an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, can be safely and effectively treated with antibiotics without surgery, according to a study published online on Feb. 4 in The Lancet.
The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.
Advocating Abstinence May Reduce Teen Sexual Behavior
TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Abstinence programs may help to prevent sexual involvement among adolescents, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS
TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.