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September 2014 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for September 2014. 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.

40 States, District of Columbia Reporting Enterovirus D68

TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Forty states and the District of Columbia now have a total of 277 confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, the severe respiratory illness that typically targets children, U.S. health officials are reporting.

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'Just-in-Time' Methodology Can Reduce Patient Waiting Times

MONDAY, Sept. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Having trainee physicians review cases prior to clinic hours can reduce patient waiting times, flow times, and clinic session times, according to a study published online Sept. 16 in Pain Medicine. The management process studied was first popularized by Toyota in Japan.

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AMA Launches Three Programs for Physician Wellness

MONDAY, Sept. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians' personal health is a global concern and three initiatives are being developed to encourage positive change, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Experiences Trump Things, Even Before Purchase

FRIDAY, Sept. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People derive value from the anticipation of purchasing something, and this anticipation tends to be greater for an experiential purchase than for a material purchase, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Psychological Science.

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Can Media Multitasking Alter Your Brain?

THURSDAY, Sept. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Multitasking with smartphones, laptop computers, and other media devices could change the structure of your brain, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in PLOS ONE.

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Half of HIV+ MSM in U.S. Aren't Getting Proper Treatment

THURSDAY, Sept. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Even though men who have sex with men (MSM) make up the majority of Americans infected with HIV, half aren't receiving ongoing care or being prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to research published in the Sept. 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC: Nearly 5 Percent of Young U.S. Women Have Chlamydia

THURSDAY, Sept. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 1.8 million Americans aged 14 to 39 are infected with Chlamydia trachomatis, and many don't know it, according to research published in the Sept. 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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More HIV+ Patients Undergoing Spinal Fusion

THURSDAY, Sept. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More HIV-positive patients are undergoing spinal fusions, and these patients have higher rates of complications resulting from the procedures, according to a study published in the Sept. 15 issue of Spine.

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CDC: Enterovirus D68 in 29 States, District of Columbia

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have a total of 213 confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, the severe respiratory illness that typically targets children, U.S. health officials are reporting.

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Lung Infections May Hamper Ability to Detect Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A test used to diagnose lung cancer may not be as reliable in geographic regions where certain lung infections are more common, according to research published in the Sept. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Most Doctors Are Over-Extended or at Full Capacity

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians report being over-extended or at full capacity, according to a survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins for The Physicians Foundation.

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Report Identifies Game Changers for U.S. Health Care

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Imagine if doctors and hospitals got paid for providing better care, not more care, and patients had better data for making informed health choices. A new report suggests that's the direction the U.S. health system is headed.

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FDA Warns Doctors of Danger From 'Fake' Drugs

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The number of "rogue" wholesale distributors selling fake or unapproved prescription drugs is growing, so doctors need to be vigilant when purchasing medicines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.

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CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million in Months

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Infections from the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and Sierra Leone could soar to 1.4 million cases by mid-January unless the global community mounts a rapid response to the West African crisis. This prediction is part of a new report published in the Sept. 23 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Breast Milk a Risk for Spreading Cytomegalovirus to Preemies

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For babies born at very low birth weights, breast milk is more likely than a blood transfusion to lead to cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, according to a study published online Sept. 22 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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FDA: Blood Test for Yeast Pathogens Approved

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The first blood test to detect five yeast pathogens that can cause blood infections in people with weakened immune systems has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The five yeast pathogens are Candida albicans and/or Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis, Candida glabrata and/or Candida krusei.

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Generic Discount Drug Program Use Has Increased Over Time

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the generic discount drug program (GDDP) for filling prescriptions with generic drugs has increased since its introduction, according to a research letter published online Sept 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Chikungunya Fever Identified in the United States

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Chikungunya fever is being seen in travelers returning to the United States from affected regions and should be considered as a diagnosis for febrile travelers, according to an ideas and opinions piece published online Sept. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Ebola Cases Predicted to Continue Increasing

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Based on data from the first nine months of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic, the numbers of cases are predicted to continue increasing, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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NIH Adds $10M to Encourage Gender Balance in Clinical Trials

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. National Institutes of Health is investing $10 million in additional funding in scientific trials to encourage researchers to consider gender in their preclinical and clinical studies.

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USPSTF: Behavioral Counseling Recommended to Reduce STIs

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- All sexually active adolescents and adults who are at increased risk for sexually transmitted infections should undergo "intensive" behavioral counseling to help prevent risky sexual behaviors (a B recommendation), according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The final recommendation statement was published online Sept. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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USPSTF: Screen Women for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- All sexually active women should be screened for two of the most common sexually transmitted infections: chlamydia and gonorrhea, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The final recommendation statement was published online Sept. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Health Conditions Expected to Worsen Due to Climate Change

MONDAY, Sept. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new study warns that rising temperatures and altered weather patterns in the United States may soon exacerbate many existing health risks. The study was published online Sept. 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, ahead of the United Nations' summit on climate change, which kicks off Tuesday in New York City.

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AAP Urges Flu Vaccine for All Children 6 Months and Older

MONDAY, Sept. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated their influenza vaccine recommendations and is urging vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. The recommendations were published online Sept. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Redundant Antimicrobial Therapy Is Pervasive, Costly

MONDAY, Sept. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Redundant use of antimicrobial therapy is pervasive in U.S. hospitals and is associated with considerable, potentially avoidable, health care costs, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Systemwide Changes Needed to Restrain Health Care Spending

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Systemwide changes are necessary to prevent excessive health care spending, and so are tools to help consumers make better, more informed medical choices, according to a white paper published in June by Vitals.

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Presence of Peers Ups Health Workers' Hand Hygiene

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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CDC: Add PCV13 As Routine Vaccination in Older Adults

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a Category A recommendation for revised routine pneumococcal vaccination in older adults. The recommendation has been published in the Sept. 19 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Obama Calls for National Plan to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama escalated the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria on Thursday, ordering key federal agencies to pursue a national strategy to deal with the threat.

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CDC: Almost Everyone Needs a Flu Shot

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate that half of Americans are not getting the protection from flu they could get," said Thomas Frieden, M.D., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a morning news conference.

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Strategies Can Help Docs Lower Their Tax Burden

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Strategies are presented to help physicians lower their tax burden in an article published Sept. 2 in Medical Economics.

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High Mortality, Costs With C. difficile After Spine Surgery

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery, Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection is associated with longer, more expensive hospital stays, and increased mortality, according to a study published in the Sept. 1 issue of Spine.

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Researchers ID Factor in Hospital Bacterial Resistance

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists have uncovered a key factor to explain why antibiotic-resistant bacteria can thrive in a hospital setting. These findings have published in the Sept. 17 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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12 States Now Reporting Severe Respiratory Illness Affecting Kids

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Twelve states now have confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, the severe respiratory illnesses that may have sickened hundreds of children, U.S. health officials report.

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Internists Report Considerable EMR-Linked Time Loss

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of electronic medical record (EMR) systems is associated with considerable loss of free time per clinic day, according to a research letter published online Sept. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Doctors Promoting Transparency With Patients

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts to increase transparency among doctors are underway, according to an article published in The Boston Globe.

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Urine Test for Cervical HPV Demonstrates Good Accuracy

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A simple urine test can routinely spot human papillomavirus (HPV), according to research published online Sept. 16 in The BMJ.

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Obama to Step Up Aid to Fight Ebola in West Africa

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- On the same day that President Barack Obama was to announce a significant increase in U.S. aid to help combat West Africa's Ebola crisis, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday that the window to contain the virus was closing and infections could start doubling every three weeks.

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Over a Quarter of Hospital Orders Classified As Defensive

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-quarter of hospital medicine services were rated by ordering physicians as at least a partially defensive order, according to a research letter published online Sept. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Children's Severe Respiratory Virus Confirmed in Northeast

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The severe respiratory virus believed to have sickened hundreds of U.S. children in Midwestern and Western states has now spread to the Northeast, health officials report.

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HPV Vaccine Knowledge Doesn't Predict Vaccination

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Neither parents' nor adolescents' knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines predicts vaccination compliance, according to a study published online Sept. 15 in Pediatrics.

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New Role of Patient As Consumer Requires Market Changes

FRIDAY, Sept. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The new consumer retail market in U.S. health care is necessary and will benefit consumers, and as consumers take on more costs of care, access to information to help them make informed decisions is crucial, according to a recent white paper published by Vitals.

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Errata Frequently Seen in Medical Literature

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Errata, including those that may materially change the interpretation of data, are frequent in medical publications, according to a study published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Poverty Tied to Increased Respiratory Hospitalization Rate

FRIDAY, Sept. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Household income is tied to significant differences in hospitalizations for ambulatory-care-sensitive respiratory conditions, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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U.S. Ebola Survivor Gives Blood to Infected Health Care Colleague

FRIDAY, Sept. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An American medical missionary who survived infection with Ebola has donated blood to a colleague who's struggling to fight his own infection with the virus.

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Physician Describes Impact of Malpractice Suit

THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A family doctor who was involved in a malpractice suit describes the impact on her practice of medicine in an article published online in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Gates Foundation Gives $50M to Fight Ebola Outbreak in Africa

THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Acting in response to the devastating Ebola outbreak in four West African nations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Wednesday that it has pledged $50 million to help combat the epidemic.

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Ebola-Infected Doctor Showing Improvement in Nebraska

THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An American medical missionary being treated at a Nebraska medical center for Ebola infection is showing signs of improvement, according to the hospital.

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Single Random Biopsy Ups Detection of Cervical Disease

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In women with negative colposcopy, a single random biopsy increases detection of high-grade cervical disease, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Review: Rapid Antigen Tests Accurate for Strep Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid antigen diagnostic tests (RADTs) can be used for accurate diagnosis of group A streptococcal (GAS) pharyngitis for management of sore throat in primary care settings, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Reanalyses of RCTs Can Lead to Different Conclusions

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of the small number of reanalyses of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have implied conclusions different from those of the original articles, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fourth U.S. Ebola Patient Airlifted to Atlanta Hospital

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A fourth American medical worker infected with the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa was brought back to the United States Tuesday morning for treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

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For Some, Health Insurance More Costly Than Uninsured Penalty

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For some young people in the United States, the cost of paying a penalty for not buying health insurance will be lower than the lowest-cost insurance, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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CDC: Respiratory Virus Affecting Children in Multiple States

TUESDAY, Sept. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A respiratory virus has stricken more than 1,000 children across several states, requiring hospitalization in some and prompting concerns of a wider outbreak, health officials reported Monday.

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Report Explores Patients' Portal Preferences

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients want portals that include features such as appointment scheduling, viewing test results, and checking prescription refills, and are frustrated with unresponsive staff and poor interfaces, according to a report published by Software Advice.

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Health Care-Linked Infections Down in Hospitalized Children

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2007 to 2012 the incidence of health care-associated infections (HAIs) decreased among hospitalized children, according to a study published online Sept. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Novel Ebola Vaccine Shows Potential in Monkey Trial

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental Ebola vaccine has shown promise in a trial involving monkeys, according to a report published online Sept. 7 in the journal Nature Medicine.

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Single-Dose, Injected Flu Treatment Shows Promise

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new single-dose, injected drug appears safe and effective at helping ease flu symptoms, according to an analysis of Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. The research, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and drugmaker BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, was presented Saturday at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in Washington, D.C.

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Sepsis Survival Up at High-Volume Hospitals

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with sepsis are more likely to survive this life-threatening bloodstream infection if they're treated in a hospital that handles a large number of sepsis cases, according to research published online Aug. 12 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Health Care Spending Expected to Rise in 2014 Through 2023

MONDAY, Sept. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- While health spending growth was slow in 2013, health spending is expected to increase in 2014 and remain higher through 2023, according to a study published online Sept. 3 in Health Affairs.

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Excessive Precautions Unnecessary for Ebola Virus

FRIDAY, Sept. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Given that Ebola virus is mainly transmitted via contact, excessive precautions, including complete respiratory protection are unnecessary, according to a letter published online Aug. 29 in The Lancet.

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Blog: Seven Most Common Physician Social Media Misses

THURSDAY, Sept. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The most common physician social media misses and missteps can be avoided, allowing doctors to take advantage of marketing opportunities on all major social media channels, according to the author of a recent Vitals blog.

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Influenza Vaccine Immunogenic in HIV+ Pregnant Women

THURSDAY, Sept. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3) provides protection against confirmed influenza in HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected pregnant women and in infants not exposed to HIV up to 24 weeks after birth, according to a study published in the Sept. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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British Ebola Patient Released From the Hospital

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A British man infected with Ebola during the outbreak in West Africa has fully recovered and been released from the hospital.

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Another American Physician Infected With Ebola

TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Another American doctor working in West Africa for a missionary group has become infected with the Ebola virus.

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More Global Help Needed to Fight Ebola Outbreak

TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As the Ebola outbreak continues to overwhelm health care workers in three West African nations, medical experts from the United States and the United Nations called on Tuesday for a concerted international response to stem history's biggest outbreak of the often-fatal virus.

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