med_cat: (Basil in colour)

Health Notice for District of Columbia Health Care Providers

Updates on Zika Virus Disease and Testing


To date, there have been 36 cases of laboratory-confirmed Zika virus disease (ZVD) in the District of Columbia (DC), all of which have been travel-associated or sexually transmitted. As of August 23, 2017, states had reported a total of 5,423 cases of ZVD to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these, 5,150 were travel-associated, 224 were locally acquired mosquito-borne cases, 47 were sexually transmitted, 1 was laboratory acquired, and 1 was person-to-person through an unknown route.  Locally acquired mosquito-borne transmission in the United States has only been documented in Florida and Texas. In DC, ZVD spread by local mosquitoes or through the use of blood or tissue products (e.g., blood transfusion, sperm donation) has not been reported.

med_cat: (woman reading)

Complications of “chronic Lyme disease" reported

Cases have reported in which treatment for "chronic Lyme disease" resulted in the development of septic shock, osteomyelitis, Clostridium difficile colitis, or paraspinal abscess. [Marzec NS and others. Serious bacterial infections acquired during treatment of patients given a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease—United States. MMWR 66:607-609, 2017]  "Chronic Lyme disease" is not a valid diagnostic entity. Lyme disease infections are usually cured by 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotic treatment. However, a small network of physicians and their patients have been barraging the public with claims that thousands of people being maimed, killed, and bankrupted each year by chronic Lyme disease. They incorrectly assert that Lyme is a deadly, chronic disease that requires long-term antibiotic therapy even though clinical trial evidence shows no advantage over placebo treatment. [Melia TM, Auwaerter PG. Time for a different approach to Lyme disease and long-term symptoms. New England Journal of Medicine 374:1277-1278, 2016]

(from Dr. Barrett's Quackwatch newsletter)

Two more: )
med_cat: (Stethoscope)
A measles case has been confirmed in Washington, DC

The Last Person You'd Expect to Die in Childbirth

The emerging and often drug-resistant fungus Candida auris continues to spread in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

(the above two articles are from Medscape, free and quick registration required)

Court case highlights nurses' duty to follow EMTALA

When Nurses Make Fatal Mistakes

Support for the Second Victim: Caring for Our Own, from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses

(Support the Second Victim: Health professionals suffer distress after poor patient outcomes, even if no error occurred.)

...and if anybody is interested in my comments about any of these, let me know, I'll share...:P ;)
med_cat: (cat in dress)

Health Notice for District of Columbia Health Care Providers

Updates on Zika Virus Disease and Testing


As of March 15, 2017, there have been 34 cases of laboratory confirmed Zika virus disease (ZVD) in the District of Columbia (DC), all of which have been travel-related or sexually transmitted. As of March 8, 2017, states had reported a total of 5,041 ZVD to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these, 5,109 were travel-associated, 221 were locally acquired mosquito-borne cases (215 in Florida and 6 in Texas), 45 were sexually transmitted, 28 were congenital infections, 1 was laboratory acquired, and 1 was person-to-person through an unknown route. Local transmission has now been documented in Florida and Texas in the United States. To date in DC, ZVD has not been spread by local mosquitoes or via blood transfusion.

In this notice, we are sharing new guidelines for Zika testing that will be approved through the DC Department of Health (DOH). Please share this notice with all appropriate staff at your facility.

The complete health notice can be viewed on our Health Notices website. For the most updated forms and recommendations, please visit our provider website.

Please contact us at with any questions regarding Zika Virus Disease and Testing in the District of Columbia.

med_cat: (cat in dress)
U.S. sees first case of bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic

(E.coli resistant to colistin...well, it was only a matter of time before that happened)



See this article for further info (thanks to [ profile] supergee)
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Researchers develop blood test that reveals viral history
Researchers have produced a blood test that can detect every virus a person has ever been exposed to, according to a study in the journal Science. The VirScan test identifies all of the antibodies present in an individual's blood and matches them to the 206 known species of viruses. Scientists say the test could aid in earlier diagnosis of hepatitis C and other conditions, as well as yield clues about cancer and autoimmune disease triggers. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/4), National Public Radio/Shots blog (6/4)
med_cat: (cat in dress)

Diphtheria reported in Spain

A six-year-old boy has become the first recorded case of diphtheria in Spain for 29 years. Eight children who came in contact with the boy have tested positive for the causative bacteria but have not become ill. These children, all of whom had been vaccinated, have been placed in isolation and are being treated with antibiotics to prevent the disease from developing. [Eight more children infected with diphtheria. The Local Spain, June 8, 2015] The six-year-old was hospitalized in serious condition but appears to be responding well to treatment with diphtheria antitoxin obtained from Russia after an urgent international appeal. His parents have said they feel "cheated" by the anti-vaccination movement. Antoni Mateu, Catalonia's regional secretary for public health, has pledged to pursue offending anti-vaccination platforms that "spread lies and cause confusion." [Parents of diphtheria boy 'feel terrible guilt.' The Local Spain, June 5, 2015] Diphtheria had been considered eradicated in Spain, thanks to routine vaccination programs, with the last case having been reported in 1986.

Uh-huh, and that's why we vaccinate--last time it was measles in California, now it's diphtheria in Spain; there'd been whooping cough outbreaks before...we'll see polio next, I'll warrant...if not something worse.

med_cat: (cat in dress)
Providers turn to electronic stethoscopes for Ebola patients

Several hospitals have used electronic stethoscopes to avoid contamination when providers check on Ebola patients. Traditional stethoscopes are difficult to use while wearing protective gear and following contamination prevention measures. Stethoscopes are rarely used in Ebola clinics in Africa, which makes it difficult to monitor patients' symptoms. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/8)
"Traditional stethoscopes are difficult to use while wearing protective gear"...difficult?! Impossible!
med_cat: (cat in dress)
...albeit from a rather unusual source...

"Trial by Ebola", from Vanity Fair


May. 10th, 2014 10:00 am
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Disease outbreak doesn't lead to higher childhood vaccination rates
Even when a whooping cough outbreak was in full swing in Washington state in 2012, childhood vaccination rates did not increase, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. Researchers found a 2.1% difference in the number of infants who received the recommended doses of the DTaP vaccine before and during the outbreak, which was not statistically significant. NBC News (5/5), HealthDay News (5/5)
WHO raises worldwide alarm on spread of polio
The recent detection of polio across 10 countries in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East prompted the World Health Organization to declare on Monday the spread of the disease as an international public health emergency. The agency said Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon should require their residents to present a certificate proving that they have been vaccinated against the disease before traveling abroad. WHO also said seven other countries should encourage travelers to be vaccinated. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/5), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/5)

CDC announces first case of MERS in U.S.

On May 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, announced its first report of a case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in the U.S. The patient is in a hospital in Indiana after flying from Saudi Arabia to Chicago via London, then taking the bus to Indiana. According to the CDC, this first U.S. case represents a very low risk to the public. A CDC Health Advisory provides background and recommendations, and the CDC has online information for healthcare providers. MERS was first reported in 2012, with 401 confirmed cases to date, all of which originated in six countries in the Arabian Peninsula.

WHO report calls antimicrobial resistance serious threat to health

Antimicrobial resistance is a serious, worldwide threat to public health, according to “Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Report on Surveillance 2014,” which the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, released April 30. WHO says resistance is “happening right now in every region of the world.”
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Classic finding in research: "This is the opposite of what previous studies found!"
Antiviral drugs may not prevent flu spread, complications
The antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza reduce the duration of influenza symptoms by about half a day, but a review published in the journal BMJ found that these medications were not effective in preventing flu spread or reducing flu complications. For Tamiflu, researchers found insufficient evidence showing that the drug could lower hospital admissions or severe complications. Relenza, they said, "may be no better than other symptom relief medications." USA Today (4/10), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/9)

And this is nice, but...
Cases of invasive drug-resistant MRSA decline in U.S.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a 27.7% decline in health care-associated community-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections from 2005 to 2011. There were 80,461 invasive MRSA infections that occurred nationally in 2011, and 48,353 were classified as health care-associated community-onset, while about 14,000 were hospital-onset infections. Hospital-onset cases declined by more than half during the same period. (4/9)

And from the "not good but not too surprising" category:
Many U.S. parents still believe vaccines are linked to autism
A National Consumers League survey of 1,756 adults showed that 33% of those with children under age 18 believed that vaccines can cause autism. Half of the parents surveyed knew about the study linking vaccines to autism, but just 50% of those were aware that the research has been retracted. Disability Scoop (4/9)
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections on the rise among U.S. children
The prevalence of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria called Enterobacteriaceae in children increased from 0.28% in 1999 to 0.92% in 2011, according to a study in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. The bacteria was detected in children of all ages, particularly among 1- to 5-year-olds. News (3/20)
Study identifies strain of Clostridium difficile associated with high mortality
The fluoroquinolone-resistant North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1, or NAP1, strain of Clostridium difficile is associated with greater likelihood of severe cases of the disease and death, according to an analysis of more than 2,000 infections in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The NAP1 strain was the most common in the cases analyzed. Antibiotic stewardship programs that promote the reduced use of fluoroquinolone can help decrease the risk of death, researchers suggest. (3/21)
med_cat: (cat in dress)

During flu season, sufferers may marvel at those individuals who just never seem to get sick. But a new study suggests they may actually be ill without knowing it, as three quarters of people with seasonal and pandemic flu do not exhibit symptoms.

The researchers, led by Dr. Andrew Hayward of University College London in the UK, published the results of their study in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

See further:

med_cat: (cat in dress)
Global death toll from 2009 H1N1 pandemic is higher than thought
Deaths from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic were 10 times greater than the previous figure of 18,449 laboratory-confirmed cases, according to a World Health Organization-funded study in the journal PLOS Medicine. As many as 203,000 people worldwide died of flu and respiratory problems during the pandemic, and the overall toll rises to more than 400,000 deaths when heart attacks and secondary consequences are considered, researchers said. National Public Radio/Shots blog (11/26), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/26)

And some progress at last:

Report shows progress in curbing drug-resistant staph infections
The CDC reported a 54.2% decrease in severe methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection cases in hospitals since 2005, suggesting effective implementation of anti-infection programs and other efforts to fight the superbug. The new CDC report, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed a drop from an estimated 111,200 cases in 2005 to 80,400 cases in 2011. CNN/The Chart blog (11/25)
med_cat: (cat in dress)
...As the flu season begins:

Group portrait during the flu epidemic, Dublin, California. I'm pretty sure that's a tiny mask.

"By 1919, the influenza pandemic killed between 20 and 40 million people. So great was the fear of contracting this deadly virus that people as far away as Dublin took whatever precautions they could to protect themselves."

Source: Collection of the Dublin Heritage Museum, via Calisphere. Link:

(found via Vintage Cats page on FB)
med_cat: (cat in dress)

Auckland parents Ian and Linda Williams thought they had made an informed choice not to vaccinate their children, but after their son ended up in intensive care with a tetanus infection they realised they had made a terrible mistake.

"The mistake that we made was that we underestimated the diseases and we totally over-estimated the adverse reactions", says father Ian Williams, who is speaking publicly of his family's ordeal in an effort to warn other parents about the dangers of not immunising their children.

Minor cut, major infection

It started when seven-year-old Alijah got a small cut on the bottom of his foot in December 2012.

"Of course we didn't think it was too serious, it was just a little cut but a couple of days later he started getting symptoms like a stroke on the side of his face," Mr Williams says.

Read further:
med_cat: (Default)
Night work increases risk of type 2 diabetes, study of women finds
Women who work night shifts face a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association. Experts said the odds of having the disease -- after adjusting the results to account for obesity -- were 6% greater in those who worked night shifts for three to nine years, 9% greater for 10 to 19 years and 20% for 20 or more years. HealthDay News (6/27)
Technology disinfects with "fog" of peroxide
Irvine, Calif.-based Advanced Sterilization Products says its GLOSAIR Healthcare Environmental Decontamination system can ward off health care-acquired illnesses by disinfecting nonporous surfaces with a fog of 5% hydrogen peroxide. United Press International (6/28)
According to research done by the National Student Nurses Association, about 45% of the 2010 nursing graduates still don't have jobs because of cutbacks in hospital hiring of new nursing grads.

(From ANA)

med_cat: (progress notes notebook)

From Reuters Health Information

First-in-Class Antibiotic Has High Risk of Adverse Events and Death

Megan Brooks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) January 7, 2011 — The usefulness of tigecycline for severe infections comes at a price: a high risk of adverse events and death, a meta-analysis shows.

Tigecycline (Tygacil; Pfizer) — a first-in-class expanded broad-spectrum glycylcycline antibiotic — is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections, complicated skin and skin structure infections and community acquired pneumonia.

It has also been effective in hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia and bacteremia, septic shock and urinary tract infections. It is active against pathogens that are susceptible and resistant to other antibiotics.

In some cases the drug may be appropriate, but the decision to use it should be "prudent," the authors of the study write in the December 20 online issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

More here:
med_cat: (Holmes so not good)
Study finds one in 20 ED patients has MRSA
Researchers learned that 5% of emergency department patients at a Boston facility were diagnosed with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection and more than half of these had MRSA on multiple sites. Patients with diabetes, HIV and those with skin or soft tissue complications were among the high-risk groups for MRSA infection, according to the study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. HealthLeaders Media (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story


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