April 2016 Briefing - Infectious Disease

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for April 2016. 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.

First Zika-Related Death in Puerto Rico Reported

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The first known Zika virus-linked death in Puerto Rico was announced Friday by officials of the U.S. territory.

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First Commercial Zika Test Approved by FDA

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The first commercial test to diagnose Zika virus was approved Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Wide Variation in Health Care Costs Across the U.S.

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Health care prices vary widely across the United States, even within the same state, according to a study published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

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Acute Diverticulitis No Worse in Younger Patients

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Younger patients do not have worse clinical presentation of acute diverticulitis, according to a study published online April 23 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

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Article Discusses Workplace Violence in Health Care

THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There is a lack of data relating to the prevalence of workplace violence in health care and how to address it, according to a review article published in the April 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Doctors Have a Only a Few Weeks Left to Review Financial Data

WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, physicians have only a few weeks left to review and report disputes relating to their financial ties to drug and medical device manufacturers, according to the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Health Report Card Finds Racial, Ethnic Disparities Persist

WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An update on Americans' health finds that racial and ethnic disparities persist, with significant gaps in obesity, cesarean births, and dental care. But advances have been made in some important areas, including infant mortality rates, women smokers, and numbers of uninsured, according to the new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Interactions for HIV Drug Combos, Immunosuppressants

WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-positive transplant recipients and their physicians should be aware of potential interactions between fixed dose combination products used for HIV treatment and immunosuppressant metabolism, according to a case report published online April 18 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Influenza Vaccination Timing Appears to Affect Efficacy

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination may be more effective when people receive it in the morning than in the afternoon, according to a study published online April 26 in Vaccine.

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Detecting, Isolating C. difficile Carriers Beneficial

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Detecting and isolating Clostridium difficile carriers can reduce the incidence of health care-associated C. difficile infection (HA-CDI), according to a study published online April 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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A Doctor's View: EHRs Impair Physician-Patient Relationship

MONDAY, April 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health records (EHRs) may be impairing the physician-patient relationship, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Pathogen Reduction System Prevents Malaria Via Transfusion

MONDAY, April 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of transfusion-transmitted malaria can be reduced with use of a whole blood pathogen-reduction system, according to a study published in the April 23 issue of The Lancet.

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CDC, OSHA Issue Guidance on Occupational Exposure to Zika

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Summer, mosquito season, and the threat of Zika virus transmission is approaching, and federal health experts on Friday issued guidelines to help protect American workers from infection.

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Physicians Can Get Involved in Developing Payment Models

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors can be involved in developing new payment models for their practices, according to the American Medical Association.

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Pre-Op Stenting, Longer Surgery Tied to Genitourinary Infection

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative stenting and longer operative time are associated with a greater likelihood of serious genitourinary infection after ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy, according to a study published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Antimicrobial Treatment No Benefit After Kidney Transplant

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing kidney transplantation (KT), systematic antimicrobial treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria (AB) beyond the second month post-transplant is not beneficial, according to a study published online April 18 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Ten Cases of Rare Bloodstream Infection Reported in Illinois

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A cluster of rare bloodstream infections was discovered by Illinois health officials while investigating an outbreak in Wisconsin.

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Cities Found to Have Distinct Microbial Communities

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Every city has its own character, and new research suggests that could even extend to a municipality's microbial communities. The findings were published online April 19 in mSystems.

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Early Trials Offer Promising Results for 2-Step Ebola Vaccine

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new two-step Ebola vaccine strategy has shown some promise in early clinical trials, according to research published in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Novel Case of Alzheimer's Reported in HIV+ Patient

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The first case of Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosed in a person with HIV suggests progressive dementia in older HIV+ individuals may be due to HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), AD, or both. The case study was published online April 14 in Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.

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Donor Epstein-Barr Serostatus Influences GVHD After Allo-HSCT

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Donor Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) serostatus influences incidence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients with acute leukemia undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), according to a study published online April 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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2016 Match Marks Record Highs for Registrants, Matching

FRIDAY, April 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The 2016 Match was the largest ever recorded by the National Resident Matching Program, with a higher match rate that 2015, according to a report from the American Medical Association.

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Severe Cerebral Damage ID'd on Imaging in Children With Zika

FRIDAY, April 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Children with congenital infection, presumably associated with the Zika virus, have severe cerebral damage identified on imaging, according to a study published online April 13 in The BMJ.

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Decrease in Medicare Spending for 2012 ACO Entrants

FRIDAY, April 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Early reductions in Medicare spending were seen for the first full year of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) contracts for 2012 Accountable Care Organization (ACO) entrants, according to a study published online April 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Health Care Workers Skip Hand Washing One-Third of the Time

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Staff at many outpatient health care facilities in New Mexico failed to follow recommendations for hand hygiene more than one-third of the time, according to findings published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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CDC: Zika Link to Microcephaly, Brain Damage Confirmed

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zika virus is a definite and direct cause of microcephaly and other brain-related birth defects, health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. The CDC made its announcement following an evidence review published online April 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hepatitis C Found to Up Odds for Certain Head and Neck Cancers

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis C may increase the risk for certain types of head and neck cancers, according to a study published online April 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Pediatric Pneumonia Can Be Diagnosed Via Lung Ultrasound

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Lung ultrasounds may offer a safer, yet equally effective, alternative to chest X-rays for diagnosing pneumonia in children, according to a study published recently in Chest.

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Doctors Can Be Misled About FDA 'Breakthrough' Drug Designation

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the word "breakthrough" in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's expedited approval process could mislead doctors about the new drugs' actual benefits, according to a research letter published in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Efficacy of DTaP, Tdap Holds Despite Pertactin Deficiency

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Despite an increased proportion of Bordetella pertussis isolates lacking pertactin, vaccine effectiveness (VE) is still high in Vermont for the five-dose diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) series and the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap), according to research published online April 12 in Pediatrics.

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VA Commission on Care: Eliminate VA Medical Centers

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A radical proposal has been suggested for eliminating all Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and outpatient facilities in the next 20 years, floated by seven of 15 members of the VA Commission on Care, according to an article published in the Military Times.

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Variation in Estimates of Sepsis-Linked Mortality by Data Source

FRIDAY, April 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in estimates of sepsis mortality using death certificates and health services utilization data (administrative claims), according to a report published in the April 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC Hosts Zika Action Plan Summit

MONDAY, April 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More than 300 public health experts attended the Zika Action Plan Summit, hosted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta on Friday. The summit was held to help ensure a coordinated response to the mosquito-borne illness.

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Treatment Guidelines Lacking for Molluscum Contagiosum in HIV+

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- High-quality studies are lacking in assessing interventions for molluscum contagiosum (MC) in HIV-positive patients, according to a review published online March 18 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

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Are Guidelines Needed to Assess Competence of Aging Physicians?

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The question of whether national guidelines need to be developed for assessing the competence of aging physicians was discussed during a recent meeting of key stakeholders, according to a news release from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Under-Dosing Worsens Prognosis for PD Patients With Infection

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) admitted to the hospital, decreased treatment is associated with worse prognosis, according to a letter to the editor published online March 25 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

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