April 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 April 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.

Investigational MenB Vaccine Can Protect Individuals in Outbreak

THURSDAY, April 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An investigational serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine seems to have protected vaccinated individuals from the disease during an outbreak, according to a study published online April 27 in Pediatrics.

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Physician Compensation Up for Most Specialties

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physician compensation has gone up for almost all specialties, according to a 2015 report published by Medscape.

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Microneedle Patch Could Offer Alternative Mode of Vaccination

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A microneedle patch may be an easier, safer, and more convenient way to vaccinate more people worldwide against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, new research suggests.

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CDC: Surveillance System Can Help Reduce Health Care Injuries

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A surveillance system for health care facilities can be used to identify and help reduce the number of preventable injuries among health care personnel, according to research published in the April 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Shiitake Mushroom Intake Tied to Improved Human Immunity

MONDAY, April 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Regular consumption of Lentinula edodes (shiitake) mushrooms is associated with improved human immunity, according to a study published online April 11 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

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Early Benefits for Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine in Canadian Teens

MONDAY, April 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) vaccination for young girls is associated with reduced incidence of dysplasia and anogenital warts (AGW), according to a study published online April 27 in Pediatrics.

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National Health Alert Issued Over HIV Outbreak in Indiana

FRIDAY, April 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- With opioid abuse now linked to 142 cases of HIV in rural Indiana, U.S. health officials are alerting other states to watch for clusters of HIV and hepatitis C among injection drug users.

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Doctors May Be Caught Off Guard by Antibiotic Shortages

THURSDAY, April 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Between 2001 and 2013, there were shortages of 148 antibiotics. And the shortages started getting worse in 2007, according to a report published online April 22 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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EHR Data Mining Helps With Quality Improvement

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health records (EHRs) are a valuable source of data that can be mined to help practices with quality improvement performance, according to a study published in Medical Economics.

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Phenolic-Rich Maple Syrup Extract Has Antimicrobial Activity

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Phenolic-rich maple syrup extract (PRMSE) has antimicrobial activity and demonstrates strong synergic interactions with selected antibiotics, according to research published online March 27 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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More Reassurance Against MMR-Autism Link

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Yet another study finds no evidence that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine raises the risk of autism -- even among children who are at increased genetic risk. The latest research was reported in the April 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health.

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Guidance Offered for Managing Conflict With Patients

MONDAY, April 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Good communication is key to managing conflict with patients, according to an article published April 1 in Medical Economics.

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Wide Variation in NICU Antibiotic Prescribing Patterns

MONDAY, April 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics appear to be overused in many neonatal intensive care units, new research suggests. The findings were published online April 20 in Pediatrics.

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Suboptimal Prescribing Attitudes Could Signal Personal Distress

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students in personal distress may be more likely to have suboptimal attitudes about self-prescribing and personal responsibility for reporting impaired colleagues, according to a study published in the April issue of Academic Medicine.

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CDC Details Mosquito-Borne Virus-Linked Death in Tennessee

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have characterized a La Crosse virus isolate from the brain of a child who died of encephalitis-associated complications in eastern Tennessee in 2012.

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Cross-Protective T Cells Could Explain Asymptomatic Influenza

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Naturally occurring cross-protective T-cell immunity may protect against disease in polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed influenza, according to a study published online April 6 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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More Evidence Implicates Inflammation in Lyme Neuro Dz

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-inflammatories may help prevent many neuropathologic effects of Lyme neuroborreliosis, according to an experimental study published online April 16 in The American Journal of Pathology.

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Aerosolized Measles Vaccine Inferior to Subcutaneous Vaccine

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- With respect to seropositivity, aerosolized vaccination against measles is inferior to the subcutaneous vaccine, according to a study published in the April 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medicare Spending Down in Year One of Pioneer ACO

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare spending is down in year one of the Pioneer accountable care organization (ACO) program, according to a study published online April 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Ethical Implications for Looking Up Applicants on Facebook

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Looking up students on Facebook and other social networking sites (SNS) is associated with ethical concerns, according to a perspective piece published in the March issue of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education.

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AMA Announces End of Sustainable Growth Rate Formula

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Recently adopted legislation has repealed the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Concomitant, Sequential Tx Similar for H. pylori Eradication

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection, concomitant therapy (CT) is equivalent to sequential therapy (ST), and hybrid therapy offers similar efficacy to CT, according to research published online April 13 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Survey Looks at Patient Attitudes Regarding Informed Consent

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. adults would prefer to be asked for permission to participate in studies assessing usual medical practices, according to a study published online April 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Security Breaches of Health Records Up Over Past Decade

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Breaches in data security exposed more than 29 million health records to potential criminal misuse between 2010 and 2013, according to a new study. Security breaches involving hacking have nearly doubled in recent years, rising to 8.7 percent in 2013 compared with 4.7 percent in 2010, according to the study, published as a research letter in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: Ebola Vaccine Trial Launches in Sierra Leone

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine has been launched in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

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Placebo Response May Depend on Individual DNA

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The strength of the placebo effect may depend on particular DNA, according to a report published online April 13 in Trends in Molecular Medicine.

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HPV4 Vaccine Cost-Effective for OPC Prevention in Teen Boys

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV4) vaccine appears to be cost-effective for the prevention of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) among 12-year-old males, according to a study published online April 13 in Cancer.

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Medical Debt Burden Higher in Texas, Florida

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Significantly more adults in Florida and Texas struggle to pay medical bills or pay off medical debt over time compared with residents of New York and California, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report released Friday.

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Children With Neuro Disorders Need Flu Vaccine, May Not Get It

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Children with neurological disorders such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy are at increased risk for complications from the flu, but are no more likely to receive a flu vaccine than other children are, a new U.S. study shows. The study, published online March 30 in Vaccine, was conducted with researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Many Doctors Haven't Started Dealing With ICD-10 Revision

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians have barely begun to deal with issues relating to documentation associated with the transition to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Art Program Hones Med Students' Visual Observation Skills

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An innovative interdisciplinary program, Art Rounds, is effective for improving medical and nursing students' physical observation skills, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Nursing Education.

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Statin Use Found Beneficial in Hepatitis C Treatment

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), statin therapy is associated with improved virologic response rates, as well as decreased liver fibrosis progression and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence, according to a study published online April 6 in Hepatology.

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Pharmacists Raise Concerns for Patient Access to Generic Drugs

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all pharmacists have experienced upswings in the acquisition costs of generic drugs, with price spikes reported to be worse since 2013, according to a report published by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

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Single-Dose Ebola Vaccine Effective in Nonhuman Primates

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A quick-acting, single-dose Ebola vaccine is safe and effective in nonhuman primates, and may lead to a new human vaccine, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday. The study was published online April 8 in Nature.

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Potent HIV-1-Specific Antibody Shown to Suppress Virus

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Therapy with a human antibody appears to reduce levels of HIV in the blood for at least a month, preliminary research suggests. The findings were published in a research letter online April 8 in Nature.

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Inexpensive Antihistamine Repurposed to Focus on HCV

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Preliminary lab research suggests the antihistamine chlorcyclizine HCl that costs about 50 cents a pill has the potential to treat hepatitis C, offering an alternative to the newer medications that can sell for $1,000 a dose. The study appears in the April 8 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Limited Time Available to Review Sunshine Act Data

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have only 45 days to review and dispute reports regarding their financial ties to drug and medical device manufacturers reported under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Med Students, Residents Rarely Perform Stethoscope Hygiene

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Stethoscope hygiene is rarely performed by trainee physicians, according to a research letter published online April 2 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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MRSA May Become More Aggressive With Smoke Exposure

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to tobacco smoke prompts methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria to become even more aggressive, and makes it harder for the immune system to fight off the infection, according to a laboratory-based study published online March 30 in Infection and Immunity.

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Nurse-Physician Collaboration Tied to Lower Infection Rates

MONDAY, April 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Collaborative relationships between nurses and physicians decrease rates of common health care-associated infections in intensive care units, according to a study published in the April issue of Critical Care Nurse.

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HIV+ Patients Fare Better in Kidney Transplant Than Hep C+

FRIDAY, April 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients living with HIV have better outcomes following kidney transplantation than those infected with hepatitis C, or patients infected with both viruses, according to a study published online March 25 in Kidney International.

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Article Highlights Legal Issues Linked to Physician Extenders

FRIDAY, April 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The use of physician extenders (PEs; mainly physician assistants and nurse practitioners) may bring added legal risks to a practice, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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HIV Can Damage Brain Early in Course of Infection

FRIDAY, April 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In the early stages of infection, HIV can spread to and develop in the central nervous systems of some patients, according to a study published in the March issue of PLOS Pathogens.

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New Guidelines Could Up Care Access for Millions in Africa

FRIDAY, April 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns and young infants in developing nations who have suspected severe bacterial infections can be effectively treated outside a hospital, three new studies suggest. The new studies were published online April 1 in The Lancet and The Lancet Global Health.

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CDC: Multidrug-Resistant Shigellosis Spreading in U.S.

THURSDAY, April 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Travelers are bringing a drug-resistant strain of the Shigella sonnei bacteria to the United States and spreading it to other people, federal health officials warned Thursday. The report is published in the April 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Patients May Be Modifying Meds Due to Trouble Swallowing

THURSDAY, April 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Some patients experience difficulties swallowing and modify medication dosage forms, without necessarily consulting health professionals, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

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Promising Research on rVSV Vaccine for Ebola

THURSDAY, April 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Two separate teams of investigators conclude that an experimental Ebola vaccine is safe, with side effects confined to fever, fatigue, injection-site pain, and/or joint pain. The reports on what is known as the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) vaccine were published online April 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Legal Issues of Removing Patient From Practice Explored

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The legal and ethical responsibilities of removing a patient from practice are discussed in an article published March 16 in Medical Economics.

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