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February 2020 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for February 2020. 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.

HIV-Infected Youth Less Likely to Achieve Viral Suppression

FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Youth newly diagnosed with HIV are linked to care at similar rates as adults but achieve disproportionately lower rates of viral suppression, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

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CDC Makes Changes to Coronavirus Testing Efforts

FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Just how prepared the United States is to quell an outbreak of coronavirus on American soil came into question on Thursday, as federal officials changed guidelines for testing after a whistleblower complaint. The complaint claimed some federal health workers had been allowed to interact with quarantined Americans without proper training or protective gear.

AP News Article
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Facebook Bans False or Alarming Coronavirus Ads

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Misleading ads about products that claim to cure or protect against the new coronavirus will be banned from Facebook, the social media company said Wednesday. It also said it will prohibit ads that may trigger alarm about the outbreak.

CBS News Article

First U.S. Case of 'Unknown Origin' COVID-19 Identified

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Vice President Mike Pence will lead the U.S. response to a potential global pandemic of COVID-19, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday evening.

AP News Article
CDC Media Statement

Adults May Not Need Tetanus, Diphtheria Booster Shots

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence rates of tetanus and diphtheria are not significantly lower in countries that routinely vaccinate adults for these diseases, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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First U.S. Trial of Possible Coronavirus Treatment Begins

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The University of Nebraska Medical Center has launched the first clinical trial in the United States of a possible treatment for the new coronavirus.

AP News Article
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Influence of Politics Has Not Waned in Opinions About ACA

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Public opinion about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains divided 10 years after its passage, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in Health Affairs.

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Judge Says More Answers Needed About Relocation of COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Federal and California officials must provide more information to local officials about plans to relocate former cruise ship passengers who have tested positive for the new coronavirus to a facility in a Southern California community, a federal judge ruled Monday.

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Mistreatment, Discrimination Still Common for Medical Students

TUESDAY, Feb. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Mistreatment of medical students remains common for women, racial/ethnic minorities, and sexual minorities, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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$2.5 Billion Coronavirus Plan Sent to Congress

TUESDAY, Feb. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A $2.5 billion plan to fight the coronavirus outbreak was sent by the White House to Congress on Monday evening, as countries around the world raced to stem outbreaks of "untraceable" cases of the virus.

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Global Coronavirus Outbreaks Stoking Fears of Pandemic

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A coronavirus pandemic looked ever more likely on Monday as multiple countries around the world raced to stem outbreaks of "untraceable" cases of the virus.

AP News Article
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Children's Vaccine Patterns Mainly Classified as Recommended

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most children's vaccination patterns are classified as recommended, although a considerable proportion are not up to date with vaccinations by 19 to 35 months of age, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Pediatrics.

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CDC: U.S. Coronavirus Cases Reach 34

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The number of coronavirus cases among Americans jumped to 34 Friday, as U.S. health officials reported that more passengers who were evacuated from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for the virus.

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U.S. Coronavirus Cases Now Stand at 26

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Eleven Americans who were evacuated from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan have tested definitively for coronavirus, bringing the case count in this country to 26, U.S. health officials reported late Thursday.

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Most Doctors Perceive Benefits of Vaccines for Children Program

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most pediatricians report that the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) has high perceived benefits, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Major Malformations Up With Macrolide Prescribing in Pregnancy

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Prescribing macrolide antibiotics during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for major fetal malformation, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in The BMJ.

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Dengue Virus Infection May Increase Risk for Developing Leukemia

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Dengue virus infection is associated with an increased risk for leukemia, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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First Coronavirus Death Reported in South Korea

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The first new coronavirus-related death in South Korea was reported on Thursday.

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Vaccine Effectiveness 45 Percent for Flu Virus Linked to ARI

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The overall vaccine effectiveness (VE) against any influenza virus associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness (ARI) is 45 percent for the current influenza season, according to research published in the Feb. 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Number of COVID-19 Cases in China Lower With New Counting Method

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The number of COVID-19 cases in China dropped Thursday, but the decline might just be due to new methods in how case numbers are tallied.

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Many Transgender Youth Intentionally Avoid Disclosure

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most transgender youth voluntarily disclose their gender identity to health care providers (HCPs) outside of a gender clinic; however, almost half report having intentionally avoided disclosure, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Quarantine Ends on Cruise Ship in Japan as Coronavirus Cases Near 75,000

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As the number of coronavirus cases reached 75,000 and deaths topped 2,000, a two-week quarantine of a cruise ship docked in Japan ended Wednesday.

CDC Media Statement

Japanese Couple on Delta Flight From Hawaii Diagnosed With Coronavirus

TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Delta Airlines is notifying passengers who were on a Feb. 6 flight from Hawaii to Japan that a Japanese couple on the flight tested positive for novel coronavirus after they returned home.

CNN Article
More Information: CDC

Risk for Adverse Events Up With Low-Dose Methotrexate

TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Use of low-dose methotrexate (LD-MTX) is associated with increased risks for adverse events (AEs), including skin cancer, and gastrointestinal, pulmonary, infectious, and hematologic AEs, according to research published online Feb. 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Chinese Report Says Majority of Coronavirus Cases Are Mild

TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- New details on nearly 45,000 cases of COVID-19 in China show that 80 percent of cases are mild and the number of new cases has been declining for most of February.

AP News Article
More Information: CDC

CDC: Coronavirus Spreads Most Easily When Patients Are Sickest

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Coronavirus is most infectious when patients are at the peak of their illness, health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

AP News Article
More Information: CDC

Telemarketer Access to Medicare Information to Be Investigated

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- An investigation into how telemarketers may be obtaining seniors' personal Medicare information will be launched by the U.S. Health and Human Services inspector general office.

AP News Article
More Information: HHS

U.S. Life Expectancy to Reach 85 by 2060

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly a quarter of all U.S. residents will be older than 65 by 2060, and life expectancy will reach an all-time high of 85 by that year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

AP News Article

Short-Course Rifamycin-Based Regimens Preferred for Latent TB

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI), short-course rifamycin-based regimens are preferred over longer-course isoniazid monotherapy, according to guidelines published in the Feb. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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2010 to 2017 Saw >5,000 Travel-Linked Dengue Virus Cases in U.S.

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- During 2010 to 2017, there were 5,009 travel-associated and 378 locally acquired confirmed or probable dengue virus cases in the United States, according to research published in the Feb. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC: Some Coronavirus Testing Kits Sent to States Are Faulty

THURSDAY, Feb. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Some coronavirus testing kits sent to state laboratories across the United States are flawed and do not provide accurate results, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

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No Sign of Vertical Transmission of COVID-19 Found in Late Pregnancy

THURSDAY, Feb. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There currently is no evidence of intrauterine infection caused by vertical transmission in women who develop 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia in late pregnancy, according to research published online Feb. 12 in The Lancet.

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Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Rise Sharply

THURSDAY, Feb. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- After charting a slight decline in spread earlier this week, new coronavirus cases in China jumped by almost 15,000 in a single day, while the death count spiked to 1,367, Chinese health officials reported Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

AP News Article
More Information: CDC

Coronavirus Spread Slows, but Death Toll Jumps to 1,113

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- While the number of new cases of coronavirus in China slowed on Wednesday, the death count has now risen to 1,113, Chinese health officials reported.

AP News Articles
More Information: CDC

Congo Ebola Outbreak Seems to Be Easing

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Experts are "very encouraged" after just three new Ebola cases were reported in the past week in eastern Congo, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday.

AP News Article

2011 to 2018 Saw Decline in Problems Paying Medical Bills

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 2011 to 2018, there was a decrease in the percentage of families having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months, according to a February data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

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S. aureus Colonization Increased in Skin Lesions in Lupus Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have increased colonization with Staphylococcus aureus in cutaneous lupus erythematosus lesions, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Adding Maraviroc to c-ART No Better in Advanced HIV

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients initiating therapy for advanced HIV, the addition of maraviroc, an antiretroviral drug with immunologic effects, to standard combined antiretroviral therapy (c-ART) does not improve clinical outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Coronavirus Fears Have U.S. Pharmacies Running Out of Face Masks

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As millions in China scramble to find and wear face masks they believe will protect them against the new coronavirus, many Americans are trying to do the same.

National Community Pharmacists Association
AP News Article

Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 1,000; 13th U.S. Case Confirmed

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More than 1,000 deaths and close to 43,000 illnesses have now been confirmed in the coronavirus outbreak that continues to rage in China, while a 13th U.S. case was reported late Monday.

AP News Articles
More Information: CDC

Broad Clinical Spectrum Linked to Pediatric MOG Antibodies

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The spectrum of pediatric syndromes associated with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies is wider than previously thought, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in The Lancet Neurology.

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CDC Outlines U.S. Process of Evaluating Patients for 2019-nCoV

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Recognizing individuals at risk for 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection is a key part of facilitating infection control and prevention and limiting transmission, according to research published in the Feb. 7 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Empathy Declines as Students Progress Through Medical School

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Students become less empathic toward patients throughout medical school, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in Academic Medicine.

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Seniors Have Concerns About Affording Health Insurance

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many adults aged 50 to 64 years are concerned about their ability to afford health insurance, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in JAMA Network Open.

Abstract/Full Text

Man Residing in China First U.S. Citizen to Die From Coronavirus

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A 60-year-old man living in Wuhan, China, has become the first American citizen to die from the new coronavirus that first surfaced in the Chinese city.

The Washington Post Article
More Information: CDC

Single Dose of HPV Vaccine May Cut Preinvasive Cervical Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Receipt of one, two, or three doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among females aged 15 to 19 years is associated with reduced incidence of preinvasive cervical disease at five years compared to that seen in unvaccinated females, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in Cancer.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Chinese Doctor Among First to Warn About Coronavirus Dies From Virus

FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The Chinese doctor who was silenced by authorities when he was one of the first to sound the alarm about the coronavirus has died from the virus, according to the hospital where he was being treated.

The New York Times Article

Hexavalent Vaccine Included in Vaccines for Children Program

FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The hexavalent combined diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) adsorbed, inactivated poliovirus (IPV), Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) conjugate (meningococcal protein conjugate), and hepatitis B (HepB; recombinant) vaccine (DTaP-IPV-Hib-HepB) has been included in the federal Vaccines for Children program, according to research published in the Feb. 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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More Americans Evacuated From China Due to Coronavirus

FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- More Americans have been evacuated from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, as U.S. health officials reported a 12th domestic case of coronavirus late Wednesday in Wisconsin. The number of deaths in China has surpassed 600, and the infection count has risen above 31,000.

The New York Times Article
More Information: CDC
More Information: FDA

Number of Nurse Practitioners More Than Doubled 2010 to 2017

FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 2010 to 2017, there was a substantial increase in the number of nurse practitioners in the United States, with a corresponding reduction in the size of the registered nurse workforce, according to a report published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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CT Scan Features Described for 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infection

FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Key computed tomography (CT) findings have been characterized for patients infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), according to research published online Feb. 4 in Radiology.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children, Teens Updated

THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Changes to the recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents are presented in a report published in the Feb. 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and a policy statement published online Feb. 4 in Pediatrics.

ACIP Recommended Immunization Schedule
AAP Policy Statement

WHO Seeks $675 Million for Coronavirus Fight

THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The World Health Organization is seeking $675 million to help countries deal with the expected spread of the new coronavirus that originated in China.

AP News Article
World Health Organization

Reference Pricing Linked to Lower Prices Paid by Employers

THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Reference prices are associated with lower prices paid by employers and lower cost sharing by employees, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in JAMA Network Open.

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H. pylori Eradication Cuts Gastric Cancer Risk in Those With Family History

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Among those who have Helicobacter pylori infection and a family history of gastric cancer in first-degree relatives, eradication treatment for H. pylori reduces the risk for gastric cancer, according to a study published in the Jan. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Second Coronavirus Death Reported Outside China

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- While health experts fear that the coronavirus outbreak in China will become a pandemic as infections topped 20,600 worldwide, the second death outside China was reported in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The New York Times Article
More Information: CDC

Many Antibiotic Rx Filled Without Infection-Related Diagnosis

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Large proportions of antibiotic prescriptions for Medicaid patients are filled without evidence of infection-related diagnoses or clinician visits, according to a report published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Costs of ART Regimens Increasing, Outpacing Inflation

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Initial regimens recommended for most people with HIV (PWH) are priced above $36,000 per year, with antiretroviral therapy (ART) cost increases exceeding the inflation rate, according to a research letter published online Feb. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Modeling Studies Show Cervical Cancer Could Be Eliminated

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Two modeling studies show how cervical cancer could be eliminated and mortality could be reduced, according to two studies published online Jan. 30 in The Lancet.

Abstract/Full Text - Brisson
Abstract/Full Text - Canfell
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Vegetarian Diet Tied to Lower Risk for Urinary Tract Infection

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A vegetarian diet is associated with a reduced risk for urinary tract infection (UTI), according to a study published online Jan. 30 in Scientific Reports.

Abstract/Full Text

Spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Estimated

MONDAY, Feb. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple major cities in China are estimated to have imported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and epidemics are estimated to be growing exponentially in those cities, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in The Lancet.

Abstract/Full Text

HIV Vaccine Ineffective, Clinical Trial Halted

MONDAY, Feb. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical trial for an HIV vaccine has been halted after it was concluded that it did not prevent infection with the AIDS-causing virus, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said Monday.

CNN Article
U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
International AIDS Society

Experimental Antiviral Drug to Be Tested Against New Coronavirus

MONDAY, Feb. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical trial to test an experimental antiviral drug's effectiveness against the new coronavirus will be conducted in China as it battles a coronavirus outbreak there.

Bloomberg News Article
More Information: CDC

U.S. Adult Immunization Schedule Updated for 2020

MONDAY, Feb. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a clinical guideline published online Feb. 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) outlines its 2020 Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule.

Abstract/Full Text

Whether HPV Vaccination Will Prevent Cervical Cancer Unclear

MONDAY, Feb. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Methodological problems and study limitations for trials of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine create uncertainty about its ability to prevent cervical cancer in the long term, according to a review published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Abstract/Full Text

Clinical Characteristics ID'd for 99 Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus

MONDAY, Feb. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a descriptive study published online Jan. 29 in The Lancet, clinical characteristics are presented for the first 99 patients with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Abstract/Full Text - Chen
Abstract/Full Text - Lu

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