March 2019 Briefing - Infectious Disease

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Infectious Disease for March 2019. 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.

Therapeutic Ball Pits Found to Harbor Pathogenic Germs

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Therapeutic ball pits in physical therapy clinics may pose an infection hazard, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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CDC: 2017 to 2018 Saw Increase in Enterovirus D68 Detection

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Based on active surveillance data of acute respiratory illness (ARI), enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) was detected in 0.8 percent of patients in 2017 and in 13.9 percent in 2018, according to research published in the March 29 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Guidance Lists New First-Line Treatment for Severe Malaria in the U.S.

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The drug artesunate -- the World Health Organization-recommended first-line treatment for severe malaria -- will become the first-line treatment for severe malaria in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a new guidance to health care providers.

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Doctors With Malpractice Claims More Likely to Leave Medicine

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians with one or more paid malpractice claims are more likely to leave practice or shift into smaller practice settings, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Measles Cases Hit 314 This Year

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There have been at least 314 reported cases of measles in the United States so far this year, according to new government data.

CNN Article
The New York Times Article
More Information: CDC

Douglas County, Colorado, Ranked as Healthiest Community

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The 2019 healthiest community in America is Douglas County, Colorado, according to a report published online March 26 by U.S. News & World Report, in conjunction with the Aetna Foundation.

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Avocados Recalled by California Company

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Possible listeria contamination has led to a recall of avocados by Henry Avocado, a grower and distributor based near San Diego.

AP News Article
More Information: FDA

Mumps Outbreak at Temple University Reaches 74 Cases

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A mumps outbreak that began last month at Temple University in Philadelphia has reached 15 confirmed and 59 probable cases.

CNN Article
More Information: CDC

2019 Residency Match Day Was Largest in History

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The 2019 Main Residency Match was the largest in history, with a record high of 38,376 applicants for 35,185 positions, according to 2019 Match Day results released by the National Resident Matching Program.

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HBV, HCV Control Aids Kidney Transplant Outcomes

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The outcomes of kidney transplants in patients with viral suppression are as good as those for kidney transplants in patients not infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to a study published online March 14 in the Journal of Hepatology.

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Analysis IDs Messages Behind Antivaccination Comments

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Arguments against vaccination remain consistent within subgroups of individuals, according to a study published online March 18 in Vaccine.

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Many Patients Still Employ Strategies to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

FRIDAY, March 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of adults reporting the use of strategies, such as requesting a lower-cost medication or not using medication as prescribed, to reduce prescription drug costs remained stable in 2015 to 2017, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

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Antibiotics, PPIs Tied to Higher C. Diff Risk in Hospitalized Children

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Previous antibiotic exposure and use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be risk factors for Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile infection (CDI) in hospitalized pediatric patients, according to a review published online March 7 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Overall, Physicians Are Happy and Enjoy Their Lives

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Overall, physicians are happy and enjoy their lives, according to the 2019 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey published online March 19.

2019 AAFP/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey

CDC: New HIV Transmission Often From Those Unaware of Infection

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most new HIV transmissions are from people who do not know they have HIV infection or are aware of infection but are not receiving care, according to research published in the March 18 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Novel Checklist Can Distinguish Anthrax Exposure From Other Illnesses

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed checklist can rapidly identify anthrax cases after a suspected mass exposure, according to a study published online March 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Reported Cases of Spotted Fever Rickettsioses Rarely Confirmed

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Only 1.0 percent of reported cases of spotted fever rickettsioses (SFR) meet the confirmed case definition, according to research published in the March 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Average of 8.8 Inactive Ingredients Found in Oral Medications

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Oral forms of medications contain an average of 8.8 inactive ingredients, many of which could cause adverse reactions, according to a perspective piece published in the March 13 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Machine-Learning Models Allow Early Detection of Sepsis in NICU

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Machine-learning models that use electronic health record (EHR) data can identify infants with sepsis in the neonatal intensive care unit hours before clinical recognition, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in PLOS ONE.

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Physician Burnout Rate Increased From 2014 to 2017

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2014 to 2017, there was an increase in physician burnout, with early-career physicians being the most susceptible, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Network Open.

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EPA Proposal Will Allow Antibiotic Spraying of Citrus Crops

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to allow use of the antibiotic streptomycin to treat citrus disease should be withdrawn because it poses a risk to human health and the environment, Consumer Reports says.

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Guidelines Developed for Polymyxin Antibiotic Use

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed for use of polymyxins, focusing on polymyxin B and polymyxin E (colistin); the guidelines were recently published in Pharmacotherapy.

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AAP: Nasal Spray Vaccine Against Flu Acceptable in 2019 to 2020

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) plans to advise families to vaccinate children against influenza with either the flu shot or nasal spray vaccine during the 2019 to 2020 flu season, in contrast to the academy's preference for the injected vaccine over the nasal spray during the previous two flu seasons, the AAP announced today.

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One-Month Regimen Noninferior for Preventing HIV-Related TB

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For HIV-infected patients, a one-month regimen of rifapentine and isoniazid is noninferior to nine months of isoniazid alone for preventing tuberculosis, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Short Regimen Noninferior for Rifampin-Resistant Tuberculosis

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A short regimen is noninferior to a long regimen for patients with rifampin-resistant tuberculosis that is susceptible to fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides, according to a study published online March 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mumps Causes Quarantine of Over 2,200 Immigrant Detainees

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than 2,200 people exposed to a mumps outbreak in two U.S. immigrant detention facilities have been quarantined, federal officials say.

AP News Article
More Information: CDC

Head of National Cancer Institute Named Acting FDA Commissioner

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will temporarily be overseen by the head of the National Cancer Institute when FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., leaves the post next month.

AP News Article

CDC: Most Americans Report Excellent, Good Health

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans report having excellent or good health and have a usual place to go for medical care, according to a report published March 13 for the National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program.

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Bronchiolitis Hospitalization in Infancy Predicts More Admissions

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in five infants with a bronchiolitis hospital admission will have a subsequent respiratory-related hospital admission by age 5 years, according to a study published online March 6 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Active Bathing in Non-ICU Setting Does Not Cut Infections

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Daily bathing with chlorhexidine plus nasal mupirocin in carriers for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) does not cut rates of hospital-acquired bacterial infections overall in non-critical care units, but benefit is observed in patients with medical devices, according to a study published online March 5 in The Lancet.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

CDC: 228 Measles Cases Already in 2019

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of measles cases in the United States increased by 22 since last week and now stands at 228, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in an update.

CNN Article
More Information: CDC

CDC: Flu Season May Have Peaked

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It looks like the flu season has peaked in the United States, though there has been a recent rise in the number of cases involving a more severe flu strain.

AP News Article
More Information: CDC

Mumps Outbreak Reported at Temple University

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Ten confirmed cases of mumps, six probable cases, and a case under investigation have been reported at Temple University in Philadelphia.

CNN Article
More Information: CDC

Probiotic Sanitation Cuts Antimicrobial Resistance in Hospitals

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An environmental intervention of probiotic sanitation can effectively alter hospital microbiota, helping to limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in health care-associated infections (HAIs), according to a study published online Feb. 27 in Infection and Drug Resistance.

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Hospital-Onset MRSA Decreased From 2002 to 2015

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Staphylococcus aureus infections are still a concern in the United States, despite a decline seen in hospital-onset methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections since 2005, according to two reports published in the March 5 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Abstract/Full Text - Kourtis
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AAP: Social Media Companies Must Curb Spread of Vaccine Myths

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Google, Facebook, and Pinterest need to take more action against the growing threat to children posed by online misinformation about vaccines, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a letter sent to the social media companies.

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Second Man HIV-Free After Stem Cell Transplant

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In only the second known case worldwide, a man is free of HIV after a stem cell transplant, doctors say.

AP News Article
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FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb Resigns

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In what probably came as a surprise to many, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced his resignation on Tuesday. Gottlieb is leaving the FDA because he wants to spend more time with his wife and three young daughters -- twins aged 9 and a 5-year-old -- one official said. He currently commutes each week from the family home in Connecticut to his Washington, D.C., office.

The Washington Post Article

Recommendations Developed for Ulcerative Colitis Management

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed for management of adults with ulcerative colitis (UC); the American College of Gastroenterology clinical guideline was published online Feb. 21 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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MMR Not Linked to Autism in Danish Cohort Study

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination is not associated with an increased risk for autism, including in children with autism risk factors, according to a study published online March 5 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Readmission for Patients With Sepsis Common and Costly

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Readmission after sepsis hospitalization is common and is associated with considerable costs, according to a study published in the March issue of CHEST.

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Pneumococcal Vaccination at Age 50 Prevents the Most Disease

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Recommending pneumococcal vaccination for all 50-year-olds prevents the most disease in underserved minorities and the general population, but the cost exceeds $250,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained, according to a study published online March 4 in Vaccine.

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Multidimensional Approach Cuts Unneeded Drug-Drug Interaction Alerts

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An iterative, multidimensional quality improvement (QI) effort can reduce interruptive drug-drug interaction (DDI) alerts, according to a study published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

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FDA Warns Americans Not to Buy Drugs From Canadian Company

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A large Canadian drug distributor sells unapproved and mislabeled medicines to Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. The distributor disputes the claim, however.

The New York Times Article
More Information: FDA

New York City Measles Outbreak Cases Reach 121

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of measles cases in the New York City outbreak that began last October in the Orthodox Jewish community has reached 121, the city's health department said Thursday.

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HPV Infection Unlikely to Spread From Hand Contact

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are likely to be caused by genital-to-genital sexual transmission, not hand-to-genital contact, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Antibiotic Delay Leads to Increased Risks in Seniors With UTI

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Delaying or withholding antibiotics for older patients with a urinary tract infection (UTI) is associated with an increase in bloodstream infection and all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in The BMJ.

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