January 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 January 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.

CDC: Measles Cases in January Top Typical Load for Entire Year

FRIDAY, Jan. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has seen more cases of measles in January than it usually does in an entire year, federal health officials said Thursday.

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Results Appear Promising for Experimental Ebola Vaccine

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Early results suggest an experimental Ebola vaccine triggers an immune response and is safe to use. The findings were published online Jan. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hepatitis A Hospitalizations Down From 2002 to 2011

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 2002 to 2011 there was a decrease in the rate of hospitalizations for hepatitis A, according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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Benefits Package Important for Attracting, Retaining Staff

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An appropriately-targeted benefits package is crucial for attracting and retaining employees, according to an article published Jan. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Chlorhexidine Bathing Doesn't Cut Health Care-Linked Infections

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For critically ill patients, chlorhexidine bathing does not reduce health-care-associated infections, according to a study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves New Meningococcal Disease Vaccine

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Bexsero vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent serogroup B meningococcal disease among people aged 10 through 25.

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Viruses Implicated in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Viruses may play a role in inflammatory bowel diseases, including the two most common types, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, according to a new study published online Jan. 22 in Cell.

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High Penicillin Prescribing Could Build Reservoirs of Resistance

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- High penicillin G prescribing may lead to an altered level of resistance in the commensal viridans group streptococci (VGS) population, which may be important in subsequent horizontal gene transfer events, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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AAP Approves 2015 Vaccine Schedule for Children, Teens

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The 2015 recommended childhood and adolescence immunization schedules have been approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical organizations, according to a policy statement published online Jan. 26 in Pediatrics.

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AAP Urges Parents to Vaccinate Children Against Measles

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of people infected with measles linked to the outbreak at Disney amusement parks in Southern California now stands at 70, health officials reported Thursday.

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HPV Vaccination Often Not Timely for Girls

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Only about half of American girls begin receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at the recommended age, according to a study published in the Jan. 29 issue of Vaccine.

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Prophylactic Antimicrobials Overused in Urologic Surgery

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Utilization patterns indicate that antimicrobial prophylaxis is overused for urological surgeries in the community practice setting, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Overuse of Abx for Travelers' Diarrhea Creating Superbugs

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The overuse of antibiotics to treat travelers' diarrhea may contribute to the spread of drug-resistant superbugs, a new study suggests. The findings were published online Jan. 21 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Physicians Rank the Best EHR Systems of 2014

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have ranked electronic health record (EHR) systems based on five key performance areas, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Risks for Ebola Virus-Infected Pregnant Women Discussed

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Ebola virus-infected pregnant women are at risk for adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, according to an article published online Jan. 14 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

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Collaboration Between Med Students Cuts Diagnostic Errors

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For fourth-year medical students, working collaboratively is associated with a reduction in diagnostic errors, according to a research letter published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Docs Should Negotiate Health Care Payer Contracts

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The terms in health care payer contracts are not immutable, and contracts should be negotiated, according to an article published Jan. 9 in Medical Economics.

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H. Pylori Tied to Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis in Women

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Women who harbor the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published online Jan. 19 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Missed, Refused Vaccines Appear in 'Clusters'

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated appear to be clustered in certain areas, a new study suggests. The report was published online Jan. 19 in Pediatrics.

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Florida Researchers Discover New Virus in Ticks

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Tacaribe virus, an arenavirus, has been found in nearly 10 percent of Lone Star ticks trapped by researchers in north central Florida, according to a new study published online Dec. 23 in PLOS ONE.

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Most Docs Work 40 to 60 Hours Per Week

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians work long hours, with most working 40 to 60 hours per week and a considerable proportion working 61 to 80 or more hours per week, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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CRP/ESR Disagreement Common in Infection, Inflammation

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with suspected infection or inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP)/erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) disagreement is common, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Impact of Medical Scribes on EHR Advancement Discussed

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing use of medical scribes should not be a replacement for improving electronic health records (EHRs), according to a viewpoint piece published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: This Year's Flu Vaccination Offers 23 Percent Protection

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- This season's influenza vaccine reduces the risk of needing medical care because of the flu by only 23 percent, according to research published in the Jan. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Review Highlights Anesthetic Implications of Ebola Virus

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations are presented for anesthetic care in patients with Ebola virus disease and published online Dec. 30 in Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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Rates of Hospital-Acquired Infection on the Decline

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of many types of hospital-acquired infections are on the decline, but more work is needed to protect patients, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

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Working Long Hours? Beware Risky Alcohol Consumption

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Working long hours may raise the risk for alcohol abuse, according to a new study of more than 300,000 people from 14 countries. The report was published online Jan. 13 in The BMJ.

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Research Funding Wanes in the United States, Grows Globally

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- America now spends about $117 billion a year on medical research, which is about 4.5 percent of the nation's total health care expenses, researchers report in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Rotavirus Vaccine Effective in Reduction of Morbidity

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread vaccination against rotavirus cuts children's rates of infection, according to a new study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published online Jan. 12 in Pediatrics.

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Guidelines Presented for Clinical Documentation in 21st Century

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines have been developed for clinical documentation and interrelated issues. The position paper has been published online Jan. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many Patients With HCV 'Lost' in U.S. Health Care System

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many hepatitis C patients get "lost" in the U.S. health care system, according to a study published in Hepatology.

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CDC Urging Flu Vaccination, Prompt Use of Antivirals

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Thousands of people are being hospitalized and 26 children have died from influenza so far, Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a Friday press briefing.

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Oral HPV16 Appears to Persist Longer in Older Men

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) infection seems to last a year or more longer in men over the age of 45 than it does in younger men, according to new research published online Jan. 9 in Cancer Prevention Research.

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Disney-Related Measles Outbreak Now Includes 3 States

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A measles outbreak linked to Disney theme parks in California included 19 people in three states as of Friday, according to health officials.

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AMA Reports on How Docs Use Their Free Time

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association recently surveyed physicians to find what activities they pursue when not in the exam room.

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Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Tied to Higher HIV Risk

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The injectable birth control depot medroxyprogesterone acetate is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection in women, according to a review of research in Africa. Results of the review were published online Jan. 8 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Possible Link Between E-Cigs, Risk of Infections

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Vapor from electronic cigarettes may increase young people's risk of respiratory infections, regardless of whether or not it contains nicotine, according to a new laboratory study reported in a recent issue of PLOS ONE.

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Interim Guidance Issued for HPV Test As Pap Alternative

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The cobas human papillomavirus (HPV) test is an effective, one-test alternative to the current recommendation of screening with either a Pap test alone or a combination of the HPV test and a Pap test, according to an interim guidance report issued by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.

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CDC: Occupationally Acquired HIV Now Rare

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Documented occupational acquisition of HIV has now become rare in the United States, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Satellite Lesions Prognostic for High-Risk Zoster

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with herpes zoster, satellite lesions are prognostic of high-risk disease, according to a study published online Dec. 30 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Novel Abx Appears Promising in Fight Against Resistance

THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The new antibiotic teixobactin has proven effective against a number of bacterial infections that have developed resistance to existing antibiotic drugs, researchers report online Jan. 7 in Nature.

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California Measles Cases Linked to Disney Park Visits

THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Seven people in California and two in Utah with confirmed cases of measles likely contracted the illness during visits to Disney theme parks in December, according to California health officials.

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Experts Discuss Pros and Cons of Maintenance of Certification

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The pros and cons of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) are discussed in two articles published in the Jan. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Infections in ICU Up Five-Year Mortality for Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people who develop infections while in an intensive care unit (ICU) are at increased risk of dying within five years after their hospital stay, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Article Highlights Top Technology Challenges for 2015

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The introduction of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) audits, meaningful use 2, and the burdens of technology are the top four technological challenges for physicians in 2015, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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HPV Vaccination Not Linked to Higher Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine doesn't increase the risk for multiple sclerosis or other demyelinating diseases, according to a new study. The findings appear in the Jan. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: Outpatient Visits for Flu-Like Symptoms Up

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The current flu season, already off to a rough start, continues to get worse, with 43 states now reporting widespread flu activity and 21 child deaths so far, U.S. health officials said Monday.

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Article Highlights Top Management Challenges for 2015

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Considerable challenges are projected to impact practice management in 2015, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Health Care-Linked Infections Up Costs in Cardiac Surgery

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are strongly linked to hospital costs, length of stay, and readmission, according to research published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Low Prevalence of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea Suggests Overscreening

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For urban women aged 25 years and older, the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is low, and women may be overscreened, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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