Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for February 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.
Rapid Flu Tests Effective for Ruling In (But Not Out) Diagnosis
TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid influenza tests are useful for diagnosing influenza; and oral oseltamivir and inhaled zanamivir may be beneficial for the treatment of influenza, according to two reviews published online Feb. 27 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Febrile Children Self-Referred to ER Usually Less Severely Ill
MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In 45 percent of self-referred cases, parents properly judge their child's febrile illness as urgent when they bring their child to the emergency department, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in Pediatrics.
AAP Recommends HPV Vaccine for Boys, Too
MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends the routine vaccination of both males and females against human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a policy statement published online Feb. 27 in Pediatrics.
Oncogenic HPV Rarely Present in Breast Cancer Tissues
FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to numerous reports, oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) types are rarely present in mammary epithelium of patients with breast cancer, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Cancer.
WHO Criteria May Overestimate Fatality Rate for Avian Flu
THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Based on cases in hospitalized patients confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the current estimated overall case fatality rate for H5N1 infection in humans is greater than 50 percent, but the stringent criteria for confirmation of the infection mean the actual fatality rate may be much lower, according to a meta-analysis published online Feb. 23 in Science.
Maternal Flu Vaccine Improves Health of Unborn Child
TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccinating pregnant women against the influenza virus appears to have a significant positive effect on infant birth weight, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.
Replacing PPSV23 With PCV13 May Prevent More Pneumonia
TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A model shows that replacing the current 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) might prevent more pneumococcal disease, while remaining economically reasonable, according to a study published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
MRSA Screening Protocol Aids in Peds Open Airway Surgery
TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A screening and antibiotic treatment regimen for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in children undergoing open airway surgery may be helpful for minimizing MRSA-associated postoperative infections in MRSA-colonized patients, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.
External Cooling Improves Outcomes in Septic Shock
TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Use of external cooling to achieve fever control is safe for sedated patients in septic shock, and decreases vasopressor requirements and early mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
By 2007, Hep C Superseded HIV As Cause of Death in U.S.
MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis C virus (HCV) superseded HIV as a cause of death by 2007; and birth cohort screening is cost-effective for HCV, according to two studies published in the Feb. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Infectious Disease Burden Rising in New Zealand
MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital admissions for infectious disease have risen over the last two decades in New Zealand, with infectious disease now being the biggest contributor to hospital admissions of any cause, particularly among the native population and the socioeconomically disadvantaged, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in The Lancet.
Chickens Harbor E. coli Found in Human UTIs
THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Retail purchased chicken may be the source of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) that causes urinary tract infections (UTIs) in humans, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
High Levels of Genital HLA-G Linked With HIV-1 Infection
THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- High genital levels of soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G), a powerful modulator of the immune response, are associated with HIV-1 infection in Beninese commercial sex workers (CSWs), according to a study published online in PLoS One.
Cash Transfers Help Reduce HIV Infection in African Girls
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Financially empowering school-aged girls in Africa may reduce the likelihood of infection by HIV and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet.
Two-Way Flow of Data Best for Electronic Records, IIS
THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Incentive payments to health care providers to encourage adoption of the electronic health record (EHR), instituted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), should encourage bidirectional sharing of information between EHR systems and state or regional immunization information systems (IIS), according to research published online Feb. 7 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
No Increase in Intussusception After RV5 Rotavirus Vaccine
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of intussusception is not increased in infants aged 4 to 34 weeks who receive the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) compared with infants who do not receive the vaccine, according to research published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Multicomponent Serogroup B Meningitis Shot Immunogenic
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The multicomponent serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) vaccine (4CMenB) is safe and immunogenic for infants when given alone or together with routine vaccinations, according to research published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Chlorhexidine to Umbilical Cord Stump Reduces Newborn Mortality
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cleaning the umbilical cord with chlorhexidine after birth significantly reduces newborn mortality and infection in rural Bangladesh and Pakistan, according to two studies published online Feb. 8 in The Lancet.
Cefpodoxime Not Recommended for Acute, Uncomplicated Cystitis
TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Cefpodoxime should not be used as a first-line fluoroquinolone-sparing antimicrobial for acute uncomplicated cystitis, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Noroviruses Are Leading Cause of Hospital Infections
MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Norovirus outbreaks are the leading cause of infection outbreaks in hospitals, particularly in the non-acute care setting, and often lead to unit closure, according to an article published in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.
Alanine Aminotransferase Levels ID Liver Disease Risk
FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels can be used to discriminate between individuals infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and those at low risk for liver disease (negative HCV RNA and hepatitis B surface antigen, low alcohol consumption, no evidence of diabetes, and normal body mass index and waist circumference), according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.
Global Malaria Deaths Higher Than Previously Thought
FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Malaria kills more people each year than previously recognized -- nearly 1.2 million people worldwide -- with more than 40 percent of deaths occurring in older children and adults, according to research published in the Feb. 4 issue of The Lancet.
Personalized Liver Cells Support Hepatitis C Virus
THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Liver-like cells produced from an individual's own cells can support the entire life cycle of hepatitis C virus, potentially making it possible to study why people respond differently to the virus, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Geographic Pattern of Lyme Disease Mapped in Eastern U.S.
THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Two Lyme disease risk foci have been identified in the Northeast and upper Midwest of the United States, according to a study published in the February issue of The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
AAP: Childhood Vaccination Schedules Approved for 2012
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The 2012 recommended childhood and adolescent vaccination schedules have been approved, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in the February issue of Pediatrics.
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