Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for May 2009. 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.
Decision Makers Can't Delay Until H1N1's Scale Is Clear
THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Officials must decide what actions to take before the severity and scale of the H1N1 virus are certain, and geography plays an important role in the incidence of the virus, according to perspectives published online May 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Acid Suppressors Linked to Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia
TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Among inpatients, treatment with acid-suppressive medication -- particularly proton-pump inhibitors -- may significantly increase the risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia, according to a study published in the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Mad Cow Disease May Be Minimal Threat in Britain
FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- In the United Kingdom, the prevalence of the prion protein that causes variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (PrPCJD) may be lower than previously estimated, according to a study published online May 21 in BMJ.
Drug-Resistant Pneumonia Emerging in Healthy People
FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Community-acquired meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an emerging cause of pneumonia in otherwise healthy individuals, according to a case report and review in the June issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Democrats Set Ambitious Goal for Health Care Reform
THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Congressional Democrats face formidable challenges in their efforts to pass health care reform legislation by July 31, but physicians can take the lead to ensure changes are enacted, according to two perspectives published online May 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Sticking to Work Hours Limits Very Costly
WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to the 2003 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) limits on work hours, and other measures aimed at reducing fatigue among residents, would be costly with no proven benefits, according to an article published in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Syphilis Screening During Pregnancy Beneficial
TUESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Universal screening for syphilis during pregnancy is associated with reduced rates of congenital syphilis, supporting screening recommendations published in 2004, according to a review in the May 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Swine Flu Has Higher Fatality Rate Than Seasonal Flu
MONDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- The fatality rate from H1N1 swine flu is slightly higher than the fatality rate from seasonal flu, according to United States' health officials, but they say most cases of swine flu are no worse than seasonal flu.
Family Activities Linked to Teens' Sexual Behaviors
MONDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Participating in more family activities may be associated with fewer risky sexual behaviors in teenagers, according to research published May 15 in Child Development.
HCV in Patients With Sustained Response Still Infective
FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Trace quantities of hepatitis C virus (HCV) from patients with long-resolved chronic hepatitis C infection may still be infective, according to a study published in the May issue of Hepatology.
Climate Change Cited as World's Biggest Health Threat
THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- During the 21st century, climate change will present the world's most important health challenge, according to a report published in the May 16 issue of The Lancet.
Swine Flu Spread Comparable to Pandemic Flu
THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- The current swine flu outbreak originating in Mexico appears to spread substantially faster than seasonal flu and is comparable to the low end of pandemic flu outbreaks, although the virus appears to be less severe than the 1918 pandemic flu, according to a study published online May 11 in Science.
Fatal Encephalitis in New York Man Linked to Deer Tick Virus
WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- A report of a fatal case of encephalitis related to deer tick virus illustrates that the incidence of infection in humans may be underappreciated, according to research published in the May 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Number of Swine Flu Cases in U.S. Exceeds 2,500
MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has surpassed Mexico to become the nation with the most confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu, according to figures released May 11 by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Rise in Syphilis Cases Due to Heterosexual Contact
MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Data on rates of syphilis in Jefferson County, Ala., indicate a re-emergence of the disease among women and heterosexual men, according to a report in the May 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Bad Lot of West Nile Tests Gave False-Positive Results
FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- A faulty batch of West Nile virus test kits that were used from July to September 2008 resulted in hundreds of false-positive test results, according to a study published in the May 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Simple Plastic Glasses Can Protect Orthopedic Surgeons
FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic surgeons can best protect themselves from conjunctival contamination during surgery with simple, disposable plastic glasses, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
Triple-Reassortant Swine Virus Seen Since 2005 in US
THURSDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Eleven cases of infection similar to the swine flu outbreak currently under way -- triple-reassortant swine influenza A (H1) viruses -- have been documented since 2005 in the United States, according to a study led by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and released May 7 by the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was accompanied by another study, two editorials, and three perspectives focused on the swine flu outbreak.
Increased Vaccination Refusal Heightens Public Health Risks
WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- The number of parents refusing vaccination for their children is on the increase, challenging pediatricians to be effective vaccination advocates while respecting the decisions of those who opt to forego them, according to an article in the May 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Stay Home With H1N1, but Don't Race to Shut Schools
WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- School students, faculty and staff infected by the H1N1 virus should stay home, but communities need not close schools entirely, according to revised school closure guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
Immunity Not Always Predicted by Vaccination Records
WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccination records for international adoptees do not necessarily predict protective immunity, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. In a related study, timely vaccination coverage among low-income children in the United States has largely increased in the last decade.
Vaccine Order Affects Pain in Immunized Infants
WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Infants receiving the less painful vaccine against five pathogens followed by the more painful pneumococcal vaccine experience less pain overall than if the vaccinations are given in the reverse order, according to a study in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Little Evidence to Support Some H1N1 Flu Measures
WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Some of the interventions that have been introduced in the wake of the outbreak of H1N1 flu have little or no evidence to support them, according to an editorial published online May 5 in The Lancet, while a report in the same journal asks whether or not the international response to the outbreak was fast enough.
CDC Confirms Over 400 H1N1 Flu Cases
WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- As of May 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 403 cases of H1N1 flu nationally in 38 states, with over 700 additional probable cases which, if confirmed, will mean the disease has spread across 44 states. The CDC continues to urge the public to rigorously observe preventive measures.
Minimum Interval Vaccination Schedule Effective in Arizona
WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Positive results were seen with minimum interval vaccine scheduling during an outbreak of pertussis in Arizona, while recall systems appear to benefit influenza vaccination rates among high-risk children despite vaccine shortage in Colorado. These two studies are published in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Medical Center Press Releases Often Lacking Key Details
TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Press releases from academic medical centers may often overstate the importance of research findings while failing to acknowledge relevant limitations of the studies, according to research published in the May 5 Annals of Internal Medicine.
Social Marketing May Improve Vaccination Rates
TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Social marketing designed to appeal to emotion may be an effective strategy to encourage parents hesitant about immunization to immunize their children, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. In a related study, giving the first dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine earlier may reduce invasive pneumococcal disease.
Number of US Swine Flu Cases Climbs to 286 in 36 states
MONDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- The confirmed number of swine flu cases in the United States swelled to 245 in 35 states by May 3, but federal health officials are expressing cautious optimism that the disease may be leveling off and may not be as dangerous as initially feared. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the number of confirmed national cases to 286 in 36 states as of late this morning.
H1N1 Flu Poses Major Surveillance Challenge
FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Containment of the influenza A strain H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak is probably impossible because cases are already geographically widespread and countries with fragile health systems lack the ability to properly conduct surveillance and containment activities, according to an editorial published online April 30 in BMJ.
CDC: More Than 100 H1N1 Flu Infections in US
FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- As of Thursday, April 30, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 109 cases of influenza A strain H1N1, or swine flu, in the United States, with 50 cases in New York, 26 in Texas, 14 in California, 10 in South Carolina, and the rest in seven other states. So far, only one death has been recorded.
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