March 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 March 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.

Mobile Health App Use Continuing to Increase

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of mobile health apps is continuing to increase and doctors are embracing this trend, with more than one-third of physicians recommending their use in the past year, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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2015 Match Sees High Proportion of Unmatched Seniors

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 6.1 percent of U.S. allopathic medical school seniors in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) were not placed into first-year residency positions, with a higher percentage of unmatched seniors than in 2014, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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H. Pylori May Impact Severity of Psoriasis

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection may affect the severity of psoriasis, according to a study published online March 23 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

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Fecal Transplants Deemed Successful in C. difficile Tx

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fecal transplants, using stool from a donor, have been successful at treating Clostridium difficile infection, researchers report online March 30 in Microbiome.

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Physicians Should Be Aware of Signs of Burnout

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Burnout can be prevented if physicians are aware of the warning signs, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Potential

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental Ebola vaccine shows promise in an early clinical trial, but requires much more testing, according to a study published online March 24 in The Lancet.

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FDA Warns Against Amiodarone Use With Hepatitis C Meds

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Symptomatic bradycardia can occur when amiodarone is taken with new hepatitis C medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

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Valacyclovir Cuts Viral Load in HIV-1+/HSV-2 Seronegative

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The prodrug valacyclovir (valACV) reduces viral load in HIV-1 infected herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2-seronegative patients, according to a study published online March 3 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Electronic Solutions Underway for Rx Prior Authorizations

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts are underway to offer technological solutions to the burdens associated with prior authorizations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Outcomes Favorable for HIV+ Kidney Transplant Recipients

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney transplant patients with HIV have similar survival rates as those without HIV, a new study finds. The findings were published online March 19 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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CDC: Decline in TB Rates in the United States Slowing Down

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As health officials in Kansas struggle with an outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) at a local high school, federal officials reported Thursday that the annual decline in U.S. cases is slowing. The report was published in the March 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Over Two Dozen Test Positive for TB at Kansas High School

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than 300 students and staff at Olathe Northwest High School were tested last week after a reported case of tuberculosis (TB) at the school. The testing identified 27 more people with TB infection, the Kansas City Star reported.

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Rapid-Onset Bacterial Infection Reported After Laser Treatment

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid-onset bacterial infections can occur after non-ablative fractional resurfacing with 1,550/1,927 nm laser, according to a case series published in the February issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Interventions Up Blood Culture Ordering in Pediatric Pneumonia

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Interventions can increase blood culture ordering in children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), with no effect on length of stay (LOS), according to a study published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

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More Than 16 Million Americans Have Gained Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama Administration reported Monday the largest drop in the number of Americans without health insurance since the Johnson administration expanded health coverage through Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago.

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Culture-Based Screening Algorithm Cuts TB in Immigrants

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a culture-based screening algorithm in 2007 reduced the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) among immigrants and refugees bound for the United States, according to a study published in the March 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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MMR Vaccination Rates Might Be As Low As 50 Percent

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination rates are estimated at between 50 and 86 percent among the population exposed to the recent measles outbreak, according to a research letter published online March 16 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Gender-Specific Variation in Medical Specialties

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical specialties vary by gender, with obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics dominated by female residents and specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology dominated by males, according to a report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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AAMC 2015 Report on Residents

Real-Time Decision Support Tool Aids ER Pneumonia Patients

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For emergency department patients with pneumonia, a real-time electronic clinical decision support tool could be beneficial, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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HHS Wants to Help Restore Joy of Medicine

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is listening to physicians and wants to address the regulatory burdens they face, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Getting Heard May Be Key to Getting New Job

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Your voice may be the key to landing a new job, researchers report in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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HealthDay/Harris Poll: More Americans in Favor of Vaccination

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In the wake of the measles outbreak that has generated headlines for months, more Americans now say they have positive feelings toward childhood vaccinations, according to a new HealthDay/Harris Poll.

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FDA Updates Recs for Cleaning of Reusable Med Devices

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued final recommendations for the cleaning and sterilization of medical devices used in invasive procedures. The updated rules, first proposed in 2011, were released in response to last month's reports of seven serious infections and two deaths at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, which were caused by contaminated duodenoscopes.

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H7N9 Influenza Virus Spreading Across China

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Avian flu (H7N9 influenza) is gaining strength in China and has the potential to emerge as a life-threatening virus for humans across the globe, a new report suggests. The study was published in the March 11 issue of Nature.

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Health Officials Warn of Blinding Cases of Syphilis on West Coast

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Health care providers on the West Coast need to look out for syphilis that can cause blindness, public health officials say.

Health Highlights: March 11, 2015

Single Paravertebral Blockade Seems Safe in Herpes Zoster

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute thoracic herpes zoster (HZ), a single paravertebral blockade seems safe and effective, according to a study published in the March issue of Pain Practice.

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Clinical Trial Data Often Not Reported in Timely Manner

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are not promptly reporting the results of clinical trials to ClinicalTrials.gov, according to an article published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians Should Plan Exit Strategy in Advance

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should begin planning their exit strategy three to five years in advance, according to the American Medical Association.

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Persistent EHR Nonadoption Could Mean Lower Payment

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent nonadopters of electronic health records (EHRs) tend to be older, and are employed in smaller practices, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Frustrated by Regulations, Doctors Increasingly Miserable

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide Physician Misery Index is 3.7 out of 5, with the vast majority of physicians reporting that the business and regulation of health care has worsened the practice of medicine, according to a report published by Geneia.

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Hospitalizations After Sepsis Resolution Often Preventable

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- When patients survive sepsis, it's common for them to be readmitted to the hospital within a few months, but this can often be avoided, according to research published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HSV-2 Vaccine Shows Promise in Experimental Research

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new study in mice hints at the success of a vaccine against the herpes simplex virus. The research was published online March 9 in eLife.

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AAMC: Significant Shortfall of Physicians Projected for 2025

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The expected shortfall of physicians is projected to reach about 46,000 to 90,000 by 2025, according to a study conducted by IHS Inc. for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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Article Details Decontamination Process After Ebola Care

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) has implemented a thorough process for decontamination after treatment of patients with potential or confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD), according to an article published in the March 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Cleaning Umbilical Cord With Chlorhexidine Lowers Mortality

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Using chlorhexidine to clean the umbilical cords of infants born outside of a hospital lowers infant infection and death rates in developing countries, according to a review published online March 5 in The Cochrane Library.

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FDA Approves Cresemba for Serious Fungal Infections

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cresemba (isavuconazonium sulfate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis, the agency said Friday in a news release.

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Changes Being Made to Med School Applicant Assessment

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In accordance with the changes in graduate medical education to better prepare doctors for a changing health care system, changes are being made to medical school applicant evaluation, according to an article published Feb. 19 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Confidence Gap Between Male and Female Med Students

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Female medical students perform at the same or higher level as men, but they lack confidence compared with men, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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National Hospital Rating Systems Rarely in Agreement

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- National hospital rating systems are rarely in agreement, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Two Cases Shed Light on Rare Algae-Related Wound Infection

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The cases of two men who got injured while participating in freshwater activities in Missouri and Texas are giving insight into a freshwater algae that can infect wounds. Reporting in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers say it's the first time that the algae -- a species common in rivers and lakes called Desmodesmus armatus -- has been conclusively linked to wound infections.

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Post-Occupational Exposure Ebola Vaccination Shows Promise

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental Ebola vaccine may have prevented the disease in a doctor who was at high risk of infection, according to a new report. The findings were published online March 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Launches First App to Identify Drug Shortages

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile phone application (app) has been released to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages, or discontinuations of drug products, according to a press release published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Vaccine May Provide Some Protection From Hepatitis E

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine for hepatitis E provides protection from the virus for at least 4.5 years, according to new research. The report was published in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Six Months of Valganciclovir in CMV Provides Long-Term Benefit

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For neonates with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV), six months of valganciclovir does not improve hearing in the short term, but is associated with improved outcomes in the long term, according to a study published in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rush University Adds Patient Scores to Doctor Profiles

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rush University Medical Center's website has started adding the results of patient surveys to individual physician profiles, according to a report published by the medical center.

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HPV-16 Tied to Improved Survival in Advanced Esophageal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced-stage esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 infection is associated with improved survival and treatment response, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

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Use of Anticholinergic Meds May Up Pneumonia Risk for Elderly

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of anticholinergic medications may increase risk of pneumonia in the elderly, a new study suggests. The findings were published online March 2 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Research Measures Perceptions of Physician Compassion

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients prefer physicians who convey a more optimistic message, and perceive in them a higher level of compassion, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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Resistance to Common Antimicrobials Increasing

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance to commonly used antimicrobials is increasing in Salmonella and Campylobacter, according to a report published Feb. 26 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

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U.S. Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Sues Employer

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An American nurse who contracted Ebola is suing her employer.

Health Highlights: March 2, 2015

High Prevalence of HCV in Baby Boomers Presenting to ER

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of unrecognized chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is high among baby boomers presenting to the emergency department, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in Hepatology.

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Majority of Doctors Yield to Parents' Vaccine Delay Requests

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors commonly get requests from parents to delay young children's vaccinations -- and often give in, according to the results of a new U.S. study. The findings, published online March 2 in Pediatrics, come at a time of rising concerns about "under-vaccination."

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Hospital Design Has Little Effect on Patient Satisfaction

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital design has little effect on patient satisfaction, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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