Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for December 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.
Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries
THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.
H1N1 Transmissibility Similar to Other Flu Viruses
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus proved to be less transmissible within households than viruses that caused previous pandemics, according to a study published in the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, while a second study of an outbreak in a school found that the natural history of the virus was similar to that of other flu viruses.
Immunocompromised Patients Need Aggressive Flu Treatment
TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hematologic malignancies who develop seasonal or H1N1 influenza, aggressive treatment may be required, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Blood.
Flu-Related School Closures Have Big Impact on Families
TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one-third of parents whose children's schools close due to an outbreak of influenza have to take time off work to provide child care, but the vast majority of parents still support the decision to close, according to a report published in the Dec. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
CT Preferred in Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, nearly all emergency physicians and radiologists prefer computed tomography, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Review Discusses Anti-HIV Benefits of Male Circumcision
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Findings from three randomized trials in Africa lend support to the use of adult male circumcision to reduce the incidence of HIV, according to a review published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.
H1N1-Affected Lungs From Deceased Show Damage
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all patients who died of H1N1 flu show evidence of lung damage and an aberrant immune response, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Flu Vaccine for Seniors Approved
THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fluzone High-Dose, a seasonal flu vaccine for people 65 and older, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency said in a news release.
2009 H1N1 Took High Toll on Pregnant Women, Children
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic took a high toll on pregnant or recently-pregnant women and on children, according to a pair of studies from California and Argentina published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of cases of people infected with H1N1 influenza continues to decline and the vaccine supply is now plentiful, not enough people have been inoculated, a top U.S. health official said during a Dec. 22 press briefing held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Severe H1N1 Infection Linked to Elevated Cytokine Levels
TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients with severe novel H1N1 virus (nvH1N1) infection at 10 Spanish hospitals had high levels of the Th17 and Th1 cytokines, indicating either a robust immune response to the infection or an over-response similar to that found in autoimmune diseases, according to research published online Dec. 11 in Critical Care.
Single H1N1 Vaccine Dose Likely Safe and Effective
MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of influenza A(H1N1) vaccination is effective and safe in infants and children 6 months to less than 9 years of age, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Head Count of Epidemiologists Has Dropped Since 2006
MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2006 there has been a 10 percent decline in the number of epidemiologists working in state health departments, according to a study published in the Dec. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Animals and Food May Be a Reservoir for E. coli
THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Animals and food may be a reservoir for pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria, according to two studies in the January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Immune System Linked to Leprosy Susceptibility
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Host genetic factors involving the innate immune system are associated with susceptibility to leprosy infection, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Information Offered on Effect of H1N1 Vaccine Schedules
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A single 15-µg dose of vaccine provides H1N1 influenza protection in most individuals, though another dose can boost immune response in children and the elderly, according to the results of two studies in the Dec. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.
Non-Safety, Voluntary Recall of H1N1 Flu Vaccine Issued
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 800,000 pediatric doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine have been recalled by the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, because of reduced potency, according to information provided Dec. 15 by federal officials.
American Indians Have Far Higher H1N1 Flu Death Rate
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The pandemic influenza A (H1N1) mortality rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives is four times that of all other racial/ethnic groups combined, according to a study in the Dec. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
H1N1 Mortality Found to Be Unexpectedly Low in England
FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In England, mortality from the H1N1 pandemic is lower than expected, but disease patterns suggest that the vaccination program should be extended beyond high-risk groups, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.
CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu
FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 has sickened nearly 50 million Americans -- which is one in six people -- and killed almost 10,000, mostly children and young adults, a federal health official said in a Dec. 10 press briefing.
Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
New DNA-Based Bacteria Tests Yield Faster Results
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new DNA-based microarray platform can detect and identify bacterial species with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity and faster than the current gold-standard culture-based method, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in The Lancet.
Pandemic Flu Could Lead to Shortages in Blood Supply
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preparation for an influenza pandemic should include evaluating how the event could affect a nation's blood supply, since shortages could have potentially fatal outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Transfusion.
Most Early Cases of H1N1 Across China Were Mild
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most cases of H1N1 influenza seen in China during the early summer were mild, and initiating oseltamivir within 48 hours of symptom onset could reduce the duration of viral shedding, according to research published online Dec. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Lab Monitoring Offers Little Benefit to African HIV Efforts
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa can be successfully carried out without constant laboratory monitoring, allowing limited funds to be reallocated to drugs, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in The Lancet.
Deaths Linked to Undiagnosed Infection in Young Women
MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Undiagnosed Clostridium infection is associated with toxic shock deaths in women of childbearing age who have undergone various obstetrical or gynecological procedures, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Children's Sexual Debut Often Precedes Parental Discussion
MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Parents do discuss sexual matters with their children, but topics such as birth control and partner condom refusal are often brought up after the child's sexual debut, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.
Shingles Incidence Following Varicella Vaccination Low
FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of shingles (herpes zoster) resulting from the reactivation of the latent varicella-zoster virus following vaccination for chicken pox is very low, but the risk may be higher for children with asthma or those vaccinated later, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
HPV Vaccine Can Maintain Effectiveness Beyond Six Years
THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix) provides protection beyond six years from infection by HPV-16 and HPV-18, the HPV types most commonly associated with cervical cancer, according to a study published online on Dec. 3 in The Lancet.
Community-Associated Superbug Poses Threat
THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have nearly doubled in the last decade and are adding to the problem of hospital-associated MRSA, according to a study in the December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza rates are declining across the United States, but many experts say there will probably be another surge this winter, a federal health official announced Dec. 2.
Study Looks at Worldwide Prevalence of ICU Infections
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Over half of the patients in intensive care units (ICUs) had some kind of infection in a one day snapshot of ICU infection around the world, according to a study in the Dec. 2 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Tenofovir DF-Emtricitabine Is Effective Initial HIV Therapy
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- As initial therapy in patients with HIV-1, treatment with abacavir-lamivudine may be less successful than treatment with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (DF)-emtricitabine, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Observing Antiretroviral Therapy Yields Little Benefit
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy who administer the drugs themselves achieve similar rates of adherence to the drug regimen as those who are directly observed taking their medication, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in The Lancet.
Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Sugar and Skin Contact May Be Best Painkiller for Babies
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns given a combination of 25 percent oral dextrose solution and skin-to-skin contact feel less pain during hepatitis B vaccination than if they are given either pain relief method on its own, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatrics.
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