May 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 May 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.

Greater Benefit for Early Antiretroviral Tx Initiation in HIV

FRIDAY, May 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with HIV should start antiretroviral therapy as soon as they're diagnosed, according to research findings from the Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START) study, the first large-scale randomized clinical trial to establish that earlier antiretroviral treatment benefits all HIV-infected individuals.

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AMA: Physicians Driving the Slowing of Health Care Costs

FRIDAY, May 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Low physician spending is contributing to an overall slowing of health care costs, according to a viewpoint piece published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Celecoxib Safe, Effective for Brucellosis-Associated Depression

FRIDAY, May 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Celecoxib seems safe and effective for treatment of depression due to acute brucellosis, according to a study published online May 26 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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CDC: U.S. Traveler Returning From Liberia Dies of Lassa Fever

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A man who returned to the United States after traveling to Liberia in West Africa has died of Lassa fever, federal health officials have reported.

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Caution Urged When Using EHR Shortcut Features

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Caution should be exercised with use of electronic health record (EHR) documentation short cuts, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Large Practices Focused on Small Selection of EHR Products

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Sixty percent of clinicians in practices with 26 or more clinicians report use of one of 10 electronic health record (EHR) products, according to a report published by AmericanEHR Partners.

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ACOG Urges Expedited Partner Therapy for Some STIs

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, whose partners are unable or unwilling to seek care, expedited partner therapy can be used to prevent reinfection, according to a Committee Opinion published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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CDC: Raw Tuna Suspected As Salmonella Source in Outbreak

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Raw tuna is suspected as the source of a Salmonella outbreak that has infected 53 people in nine states, according to U.S. health officials.

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Front Desk Staff Has Key Role in Managing Practice Cash Flow

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Three steps that can be implemented by front desk staff can help increase practices' cash flow, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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AMA: Avoiding Distress in Medical School

FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Understanding the key drivers underlying medical students' distress can help address the issues and enhance student well-being, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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Proper Analysis Over Intuition for Avoiding Improper Antibiotic Use

THURSDAY, May 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Misdiagnosis often leads to improper antibiotic use in hospitals, according to a study published online May 18 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

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Fixed-Course Antibiotics Good for Intraabdominal Infection

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with complicated intraabdominal infection, outcomes are similar for fixed-duration antibiotic therapy and antibiotic therapy that is extended until symptom resolution, according to a study published in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Most Distinctive Causes of Death Mapped by U.S. State

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The most distinctive causes of death for each U.S. state have been mapped in a report published online May 14 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Tips Provided for Doctors Who Want to Move to Private Practice

MONDAY, May 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For physicians who want to transition to private practice, several factors need consideration, including finances, legal matters, and insurance, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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CDC: Untreated Swimming Water Can Foster Norovirus

FRIDAY, May 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that was traced back to an Oregon lake has led U.S. health officials to issue guidelines on swimming hygiene.

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Short Time to Eligibility for ART in Young HIV-Infected Adults

FRIDAY, May 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of young HIV-infected adults with CD4 cell count >500 cells/µl became eligible for antiretroviral therapy (ART) at a CD4 cell count of <350 cells/µl over a median of two years, according to a study published online May 11 in HIV Medicine.

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Nearly 400 HIV-Positive Potential Organ Donors in U.S.

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 400 HIV-positive potential organ donors in the United States could donate organs each year to HIV-positive people waiting for transplants, according to a new study published online May 14 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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CDC: Some Progress Seen in Foodborne Illness

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of reported infections with Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 and a common strain of Salmonella bacteria have decreased, while infections with other types of Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Vibrio have increased, according to research published in the May 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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ASCO Updates Guidelines for Hepatitis B Screening in Cancer

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines for hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening among patients with cancer have been updated, according to a special article published online May 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Infective Endocarditis Incidence Up in U.S. From 2000 to 2011

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 2000 to 2011 there was an increase in infective endocarditis (IE) incidence in the United States, according to a study published in the May 19 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Proposes Lifting Ban on Homosexual Blood Donations

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Gay and bisexual men who have abstained from sex for one year would be allowed to donate blood in the United States, under a new federal policy unveiled Tuesday.

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New Health Care Index Reports Increases in Consumer Costs

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new Health Care Index shows increases in consumer costs, according to a report published by U.S. News & World Report.

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Guidance Offered to Help Doctors Deal With 'Dr. Google'

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Good communication is the key to resolving conflicts between the tests and treatment a patient may want based on online searches and those a physician believes are necessary, according to an article published online in Medical Economics.

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Nondisclosure Clauses Often Used in Malpractice Settlements

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nondisclosure clauses are frequently used in malpractice settlement agreements, according to research published online May 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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AMA: Six Traits of Financially Prepared Female Physicians

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The traits of a financially prepared female physician include having a retirement portfolio that is on track or ahead of schedule for age and career stage, having a liquid emergency fund, and feeling adequately protected in the event of a disability, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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FDA Approves Avelox for Treatment of Plague

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Avelox (moxifloxacin) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday to treat plague, a rare but deadly bacterial infection that can strike the lungs (pneumonic), blood (septicemic), or lymph nodes (bubonic).

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Immune System Stays Depleted Up to Three Years Post Measles

FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Children who survive a measles infection remain vulnerable to other potentially deadly infections for as long as two or three years after the measles infection, according to research published in the May 8 issue of Science.

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Medical Students Want to Focus Learning on Preparing for Future

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students report wanting to learn more about topics that are not currently being taught, including leadership training, health policy, health economics, and experiential learning, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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CDC: C. Difficile Infections Clustered in Northeast

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Infections with Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) have been the most prevalent in the Northeast during the past decade, new U.S. research shows. The findings were published in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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ACA Tied to Nearly 17 Million Gaining Health Coverage

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nearly 17 million previously uninsured Americans now have health coverage, according to a 2013 to 2015 report from the Rand Corporation.

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Strategies Provided for Maximizing Payment

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should use standard billing practices, including regular statements, to maximize accounts, and know that collection agencies and lawyers can help collect payment when necessary, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Non-Toxic Version of C. Difficile May Help Fight Infection

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers may have found a new way to combat Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection: a friendly version of the culprit bacteria itself. Their findings were published in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Experimental Drug Combo Shows Success in HCV Treatment

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have released yet another study finding impressive results for an experimental drug combo that aims to rid the body of hepatitis C. The study is published in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Review: Fecal Transplants Effective Weapon Against C. Dif

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fecal transplantation appears to be a safe and effective way to combat Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection, according to a new review published in the May 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Five 'Top Issues' to Be Discussed at AMA Medical Student Forum

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Issues that will be at the forefront of the National Medical Student Meeting include vaccinations, health care economics, Medicaid expansion, medical education loans, and the nationwide opioid epidemic, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Waning Immunity Seen Post-Tdap Booster in Preteens

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine given to preteens loses a large measure of effectiveness within a few years, new research reveals. The study findings are published online May 4 in Pediatrics.

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CDC: Colorado Dog Key to U.S. Pneumonic Plague Outbreak

FRIDAY, May 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A Colorado dog last year caused the largest outbreak of pneumonic plague -- also called the Black Death -- in the United States since 1924, scientists reported Thursday.

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STDs Identified in Women With Extragenital Exposures

FRIDAY, May 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable number of women reporting extragenital exposures have Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), and many infections would be missed with urogenital-only testing, according to a study published in the May issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

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