February 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 February 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.

Addition of Amphotericin B to Optisol-GS Needs Further Study

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Further investigation of the addition of amphotericin B to Optisol-GS, the most commonly used corneal storage medium in the United States, is warranted, according to research published online Feb. 25 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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FDA Approves Emergency Use of CDC Test for Zika Virus

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a diagnostic tool for Zika virus that will be distributed to qualified laboratories, according to a media statement issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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CDC Issues Advice for Travel to Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In a media statement issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, advice relating to health and safety is offered for those planning to attend the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the 2016 Paralympic Games, both of which are being held in Rio de Janeiro.

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CDC: Zika Found in Nine U.S. Pregnancies

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Five of nine pregnancies among U.S. women who were infected with the Zika virus have resulted in adverse outcomes, according to research published in the Feb. 26 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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No Evidence for Benefits of 'Vaginal Seeding'

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The increasingly common practice of "vaginal seeding" in infants born by cesarean section is not without risks, according to an editorial published online Feb. 23 in The BMJ.

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Research Links Zika Virus to Hydrops Fetalis, Fetal Demise

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zika virus may be associated with hydrops fetalis and fetal demise, according to a case report published online Feb. 25 in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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CDC: Flu Season Continues to Be Mild; Vaccine Is Effective

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- This flu season continues to be mild, while the flu vaccine is working better than the one used last season, with an overall efficacy of 59 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Suggestions for Optimizing Practice Feedback Effectiveness

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In an article published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 15 suggestions are presented to optimize the effectiveness of practice feedback.

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First Rapid Test for Zika Virus Detection Developed in Texas

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The first rapid detection test for the Zika virus has been developed by teams at two Texas hospitals.

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CDC: 14 Potential New Cases of Zika Sexually Transmitted

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Fourteen U.S. cases of possible sexual transmission of the Zika virus are now under investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency announced on Tuesday.

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4vHPV Type Prevalence Down After Vaccine Introduction

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Introduction of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has correlated with a reduction in quadrivalent HPV (4vHPV) type prevalence among females aged 14 to 19 and 20 to 24 years, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Guidelines Developed for Suspected Zika in Children

MONDAY, Feb. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines have been developed for evaluation and testing of infants and children with possible Zika virus infection. The interim guidelines were published in the Feb. 19 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Feedback From High-Profile Messenger Can Cut Antibiotic Rx

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Feedback from a high-profile messenger can reduce antibiotic prescribing on a national scale, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in The Lancet.

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Three Classes of Antibiotic-Associated Encephalopathy ID'd

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic-associated encephalopathy (AAE) can be classified into three unique clinical phenotypes, according to research published online Feb. 17 in Neurology.

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Mortality 18.5 Percent for Ebola Management in U.S., Europe

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) who received care in the United States and Europe show mortality of 18.5 percent, according to a study published in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Zika Virus ID'd in Amniotic Fluid From Two Pregnant Women

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zika virus has been identified in amniotic fluid of two pregnant women in Brazil whose fetuses have been diagnosed with microcephaly, according to a case study published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Many Med Schools Appear Unwelcoming Regarding Disability

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical schools need to post, update, or clarify technical standards (TSs), required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that detail what a school will do to accommodate a student with a disability, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Academic Medicine.

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HIV Antigen/Antibody Combo Assay Can Detect Acute Infection

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- HIV screening using an antigen/antibody (Ag/Ab) combination assay can detect 82 percent of the acute HIV infections detectable by pooled RNA testing, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Zika Infection Confirmed in U.S. Resident Back From Costa Rica

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A case of Zika virus infection has been confirmed in a traveler who returned to the United States from Costa Rica, according to a research letter published online Feb. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Opioids Tied to Higher Risk of Infections in Rheumatoid Arthritis

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The use of opioid analgesics may increase the risk of serious infection in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Unexpected Decline in TB Among Foreign-Born in the U.S.

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An abrupt decline in the number of reported tuberculosis (TB) cases among foreign-born persons in the United States began in 2007, according to research published online Feb. 10 in PLOS ONE.

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Net Returns Projected to Top Investment in Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Projected immunizations are estimated to yield returns that are greater than costs in low- and middle-income countries during 2011 to 2020, according to a study published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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ECDC Publishes Report on Bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Bacteria in humans, food, and animals continue to show resistance to commonly used antimicrobials, according to a report published online Feb. 11 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

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Dermoscopy Can Help ID Staph Scalded Skin Syndrome

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Dermoscopy can differentiate staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) from toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), according to a letter to the editor published online Feb. 4 in the Journal of Dermatology.

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Dexamethasone No Help in HIV-Linked Cryptococcal Meningitis

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis, dexamethasone does not reduce mortality compared with placebo, according to a study published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vignette Highlights Management of Recurrent UTI in Older Men

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In a case vignette published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, recommendations are presented for management of recurrent acute febrile urinary tract infections in older men.

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CDC: Number of Uninsured Persons in U.S. Down Since 2013

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of uninsured persons is decreasing in the United States, according to a report published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Physicians Concerned By Increasing Cost of Generics

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pennsylvania physicians have called for state- and national-level medical associations to take an active role in addressing the issue of increasing generic drug prices, according to an article published by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

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Hospital Cluster of H7N9 Influenza Infections Identified

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A hospital cluster of avian influenza A (H7N9) infection has been identified, according to a letter to the editor published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CDC Reports Increasing Influenza Activity, Severe Illness

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Following reports of severe influenza illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging rapid antiviral treatment for very ill and high-risk patients with suspected influenza.

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Novel Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Genospecies ID'd

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A novel Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies has been identified, which causes Lyme borreliosis, according to research published online Feb. 5 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Decrease in Number of New HIV Diagnoses Among Black Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The number of new HIV diagnoses among black women decreased from 2012 to 2014, and there was an increase in the percentage with early linkage to medical care, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Recurrent Erythema Seen With H. cinaedi Bacteremia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrent superficial cellulitis-like erythema is associated with Helicobacter cinaedi (H. cinaedi) bacteremia, according to a case report published online Jan. 30 in The Journal of Dermatology.

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Admission to VA or Non-VA Hospitals Impacts Outcome

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For older men, mortality and readmission for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, and pneumonia vary with admission to Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Behavioral Interventions Can Cut Inappropriate Antibiotic Use

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Use of certain behavioral interventions can reduce the rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing during ambulatory visits for acute respiratory tract infections, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hawaii County Declares State of Emergency Over Dengue Fever

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A spreading dengue fever outbreak led Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi to declare a state of emergency on Monday. He said the move was needed to reduce mosquito populations and protect people from mosquito bites, CBS News reported.

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Ocular Issues Seen in Some Born With Zika-Linked Microcephaly

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Ocular abnormalities may occur in infants born with microcephaly that seems to be linked to infection with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, according to research published online Feb. 9 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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CDC Emergency Operations Ctr Moving to Level 1 Activation

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is moving to Level 1 activation to enhance its response to the Zika virus outbreak.

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Sepsis Tied to Higher Post-Discharge Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Sepsis survivors have a substantially increased risk of all-cause mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events after discharge, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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AMA Highlights Issues Relating to Medical Liability Reform

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Medical liability reforms are likely to be advanced and challenged in 2016, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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CDC: Fewer Blacks Consistently Retained in HIV Care

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer blacks are consistently retained in HIV care compared with other racial/ethnic groups, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Influenza Infection Tied to Increased Risk of A-Fib

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza infection is associated with increased odds of atrial fibrillation (AF), which can be reduced through vaccination, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Heart Rhythm.

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Doctors Offer Suggestions for Electronic Health Records

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians recently met in Seattle to discuss the difficulties and benefits associated with electronic health records (EHRs) in a third town hall meeting on the subject, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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CDC: New Zika Warning for Pregnant Women, Sex Partners

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with a male sexual partner who has traveled to, or lives in, an area affected by active Zika virus transmission should refrain from sex or use condoms during sex until the pregnancy is over, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised on Thursday.

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Histopathologic Findings Described for MERS-CoV Autopsy

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The main histopathologic findings of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection are diffuse alveolar damage in the lungs and evidence of chronic disease in other organs, according to research published online Feb. 5 in The American Journal of Pathology.

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Routine Amoxicillin Use of No Benefit in Acute Malnutrition

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Routine use of amoxicillin does not improve nutritional recovery from uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition in children, according to research published in the Feb. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Seven Tips Provided for Optimizing Practice Revenue

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Business operations data represent a relatively untapped resource for optimizing practice revenue, and can indicate areas of strength and opportunities for improvement, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Patient-Centered System Recommended for Medical Billing

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Simplification, consolidation, and real time point-of-care information could address the inefficiencies in the medical billing system, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Video Games Offer Educational Methods for Med Students

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Video games can play a role in medical education, offering new methods for teaching medical students, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Blood Donors at Risk for Zika Infection Asked to Hold Off

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The American Red Cross on Wednesday asked potential blood donors who have traveled to areas where Zika infection is active to wait 28 days before giving blood.

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ACIP Approves 2016 Adult Immunization Schedule

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved the recommended adult immunization schedule for 2016. The recommendations are published as a clinical guideline in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Less Than Half of U.S. Infants Fully Vaccinated for Influenza

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Although full influenza vaccination coverage is increasing among children aged 6 to 23 months, less than half of children in the United States were fully vaccinated in the 2011 to 2012 influenza season, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in Pediatrics.

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Infection Risk Up Before Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of primary chronic immune thrombocytopenia (cITP) is 2.30/100,000 person-years, and incidence is associated with increased risk of infections within the five years before cITP diagnosis, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Tips Presented for Encouraging Treatment Adherence

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Tips for increasing patient adherence to treatment plans include patient engagement and addressing barriers to adherence, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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2016 Childhood Immunization Schedule Released

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The 2016 recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents has been approved, according to a policy statement published online Feb. 1 in Pediatrics.

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Novel Vaccine Platform Shows Promise for HIV-1

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Two HIV-1 vaccines, which include adenovirus and an HIV-1 envelope A insert, elicit significant immune responses in healthy adults without HIV infection, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Mobile Texts May Up Adherence to Meds for Chronic Illness

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Mobile telephone text messaging may be a promising new way to improve adherence to medications for chronic diseases, according to research published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Patients and Families Highlight Value of Nurse Practitioners

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients and their families believe that teams in acute and primary care are more effective when they include nurse practitioners, according to research published online Jan. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

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CDC Issues Guidance to Stop HCV Transmission in Hemodialysis

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In order to prevent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients undergoing hemodialysis, current infection control practices should be assessed and any gaps addressed, according to a health advisory published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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