November 2015 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 November 2015. 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.

FDA Approves First Flu Vaccine Containing an Adjuvant

MONDAY, Nov. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The first seasonal influenza vaccine with an adjuvant has been approved for use in seniors, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Neurotoxicity Seen With Acyclovir at Recommended Dose in Dialysis

MONDAY, Nov. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acyclovir-induced neurotoxicity should be considered for patients with herpes zoster on hemodialysis, according to a case report published online Nov. 21 in the Journal of Dermatology.

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AAFP Recommends Doctors Explore Use of Social Media

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The use of social media channels and associated benefits for physicians are highlighted in a recent article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). And guidelines are provided for physicians wishing to become active in social media.

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C. Difficile Infection Tied to Higher Risk of Post-Op Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients at VA hospitals who contracted Clostridium difficile following surgery were five times more likely to die and 12 times more likely to suffer postoperative morbidity, according to findings published online Nov. 25 in JAMA Surgery.

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CDC: PrEP Rx Needs to Increase for Optimal HIV Prevention

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Too few Americans who are at risk for HIV infection are taking Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) -- a daily pill that could protect them against the virus, and health care providers must help boost patient awareness and use of the drug, federal health officials report.

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FDA Expands Anthrax Vaccine Approval

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the BioThrax anthrax vaccine has been expanded to include adults aged 18 to 65 with known or suspected exposure, the agency said in a media release. The vaccine was first approved in 1970 for people at high risk of anthrax contact.

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Music Can Help Doctors Develop Relationships With Patients

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For one physician, writing songs has improved her self-awareness and strengthened her relationships with patients, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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ACP: Physicians Should Prescribe Generic Meds If Possible

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should prescribe generic medications whenever possible, keeping in mind that generics have comparable effectiveness to brand name medications and are associated with reduced costs and increased adherence, according to new guidelines published online Nov. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Universal HCV Opt-Out Screening in Prisons Cost-Effective

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Universal opt-out hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening in prisons is cost-effective and can reduce HCV transmission outside of prisons, according to research published online Nov. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many First-Time Mothers Need More Accurate Vaccine Info

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Three-quarters of first-time expectant mothers plan to follow the recommended vaccination schedule for their children, according to survey results published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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HIV Prophylaxis to 12 Months Protects Breastfeeding Infants

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Infants being breastfed by HIV-positive mothers can effectively be protected from the infection in the six- to 12-month period after birth by receiving up to 12 months of liquid formula HIV drugs, according to a report published online Nov. 18 in The Lancet.

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Plasmid-Mediated Polymyxin Resistance Identified

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new plasmid-mediated polymyxin resistance mechanism, MCR-1, has emerged in Enterobacteriaceae, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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E-Portfolio Developed to Assess Millennial Med Students

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic portfolios are being used to transform medical students' assessments and track progress as students advance through medical training, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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New Drug Looks Promising for Respiratory Syncytial Virus

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental drug shows promise as a treatment for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to a study published in the Nov. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AAFP: Expected 0.5 Percent Pay Increase Reduced to Zero

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A small but promised Medicare pay increase has effectively been reduced to zero for all physician specialties, according to the final 2016 Medicare physician fee schedule and a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Burnout Reduces Readiness to Change Teaching Approaches

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Occupational burnout appears to reduce clinical faculty members' readiness to change teaching approaches, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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CDC: Rates of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis Up

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In 2014, 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- a 2.8 percent increase since 2013. This is the highest number of cases of any sexually transmitted disease (STD) ever reported to the CDC, the government researchers said in their annual report.

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Preventive HIV Treatment Shown Effective at Health Clinics

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Real-world application of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications appears to be effective for the prevention of HIV, but racial discrepancies exist, new research suggests. The studies appear online Nov. 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Continuation of Antibiotics for UTI Often Inappropriate

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs), initiation of antibiotics in the emergency department is frequently inappropriate, as is continuation of antibiotics after admission, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Successful Treatment of U.S. Child With XDR Tuberculosis

MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A 5-year-old child from the United States, diagnosed at age 2 with extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis after traveling to India, is finally in remission, researchers report. A detailed account of the child's diagnosis and treatment, and the obstacles that clinicians at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore faced, was published in the December issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Increased Dwell Time Doesn't Raise Infection Risk for PICCs

MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) do not have increased risk of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) with increased dwell time, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in Pediatrics.

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FDA: Automated Endoscope Reprocessors Recalled

MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 2,800 machines used to disinfect medical scopes are being recalled because they may put patients at risk for infections, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

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CDC: Sharp Increase in U.S. Babies Born With Syphilis

FRIDAY, Nov. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Congenital syphilis cases increased 38 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to research published in the Nov. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Swiss Report Highlights Danger of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Although antibiotics have largely eradicated tuberculosis (TB) in the United States in recent decades, researchers say evidence is mounting that the bacteria is becoming increasingly resistant to these medications. Details of a recent Swiss case are reported in the Nov. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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ACP Issues Guidance on 'Concierge' Practices

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Direct patient contracting practices (DPCPs), in which patients pay out of pocket for some or all services provided by the practice, are growing in popularity, according to a position paper published online Nov. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Macrolides May Raise Cardiovascular Risks

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Macrolides are associated with a small but measurable increased risk of sudden cardiac death, according to research published in the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Study Explores Comfort With Non In-Person Test Results

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients have different preferences for non in-person receipt of test results, with preferences varying by test, according to a study published in the November-December issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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Expanding Rooming, Discharge Office Protocols Can Save Time

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Expanding protocols for rooming and discharge can allow physicians to free up an hour or more of time per day, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Web-Based CBT Program Cuts Suicidal Ideation in Interns

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (wCBT) program is effective for preventing suicidal ideation among medical interns, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Scarlet Fever Incidence Rising in Some Parts of the World

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Genome sequencing techniques can shed light on the rise in incidence of scarlet fever-causing bacteria and their increasing resistance to antibiotics, according to research published online Nov. 2 in Scientific Reports.

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Updated Checklist for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy Studies

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An updated list of 30 essential items should be included in every report of a diagnostic accuracy study, according to the Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (STARD) 2015. These new guidelines have been published in several journals, including Radiology, Clinical Chemistry, and The BMJ.

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FDA Approves Genvoya to Treat HIV-1 Infection

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new treatment for HIV has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Genvoya -- a tablet containing elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide -- can be used to treat HIV-1 infection in adults and children 12 and older weighing at least 77 pounds.

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Doctors Who Order More Tests Have Fewer Malpractice Claims

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) --The more tests and treatments U.S. doctors order for patients, the less likely they are to be sued for malpractice, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in The BMJ.

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Poll: Americans Want Health Care Costs Kept in Check

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans now support aggressive regulation to keep health care costs in check -- including price caps on drugs, medical devices, and payments to doctors and hospitals, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll has found.

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CDC: Tapeworm Implicated in Case of Malignant Transformation

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer cells transmitted from a common tapeworm appear to have caused cancer-like tumors in a Colombian man with HIV -- the first known case of malignant transformation, U.S. health officials report in the Nov. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sofosbuvir Tied to Rare Cases of Bradyarrhythmia

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- One of the new, highly effective drugs for treating hepatitis C can cause bradyarrhythmia in some patients, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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ACP Joins Amicus Curiae Brief to Supreme Court

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) has joined other organizations in an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court, urging the court to uphold considerations of race and ethnicity in the medical school admissions process.

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Progress Made in Early Trial of RSV Vaccine

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Another research team is reporting progress toward developing a vaccine to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Their findings were published in the Nov. 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Doctors Should Consider Financial Factors Before Career Change

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Financial and other factors should be considered before physicians change career direction, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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AMA: 6 Steps to Help Ensure Patients Get Preventive Care

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Panel management, or population health management, can help physicians provide necessary preventive and chronic care to all patients regardless of their visit frequency, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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CDC: Gonorrhea Showing More Resistance to Cefixime

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest tracking suggests that although gonorrhea resistance to the antibiotic treatment cefixime declined between 2011 and 2013, it started to rise again in 2014. The study findings are published as a research letter in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pertussis in Childhood Tied to Small Increase in Epilepsy Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Pertussis may be tied to a slightly increased risk of development of epilepsy in children, according to a study published in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HIV Does Not Worsen Outcomes of Liver Transplant in HCC

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- HIV infection has no impact on prognosis of liver transplantation (LT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to a study published online Oct. 30 in Hepatology.

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Prescription Medication Use on the Rise in the United States

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More Americans than ever are taking prescription drugs, as well as using more of them, according to research published in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HIV-Infected Children Can Transition to Efavirenz-Based Tx

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For nevirapine-exposed children with HIV achieving initial viral suppression with ritonavir-boosted lopinavir-based therapy, transition to efavirenz-based therapy is not inferior to continuing ritonavir-boosted lopinavir-based therapy, according to a study published in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New Electronic Health Record Regulations Released

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New electronic health record (EHR) regulations modify Stage 2 of the meaningful use program and finalize requirements for Stage 3, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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H. pylori Triple Therapy Linked to Erythema Multiforme

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori can cause erythema multiforme, according to a case study published online Oct. 28 in The Journal of Dermatology.

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HPV Tied to Pyogenic Granuloma in Patients Without Warts

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In patients without clinical evidence of warts, human papillomavirus type 2 (HPV-2) is associated with pyogenic granuloma, according to a study published online Oct. 22 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

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Prescribing Drugs 'Off-Label' Can Pose Serious Safety Risks

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Off-label drug use puts patients at risk for serious side effects, especially when scientific evidence is lacking, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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One in Five Pediatricians Drop Families Who Refuse Vaccines

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 20 percent of U.S. pediatricians regularly drop families who refuse to have their children vaccinated, according to a report published online Nov. 2 in Pediatrics.

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Competition for Fellowships Broke Records in 2015

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- According to the American Medical Association (AMA), 2015 was a record-breaking year for fellowship applications.

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Displaying Prices to Providers Seems to Reduce Order Costs

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Displaying order prices to physicians seems to reduce order costs, according to a review published online Oct. 23 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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