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Infections Blog

When to Keep Kids Home From School

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 – Trying to determine whether to keep a child home from school due to illness can be difficult for parents, but a pediatrician offers some advice on how to make that call. "Being a parent is a juggling act, but throw in a child being home sick from school and the delicate balance topples. Many parents ask: When is it important to keep my child home from school and when should I send them?" Dr. Hannah Chow-Johnson, a pediatrician at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., said in a university news release. "There are times when it's best for the child and his or her classmates to just remain at home," said Chow-Johnson, who's also an assistant professor in the pediatrics department at Loyola's School of Medicine. One common problem is pinkeye – conjunctivitis. "Your child is contagious with bacterial or viral conjunctivitis until the redness and ... Read more

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FDA Tightens Rules on Endoscopes Tied to 'Superbug' Outbreaks

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday 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 Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, which were caused by duodenoscopes contaminated with a "superbug." On March 4, four similar "superbug" infections were reported at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Duodenoscopes are devices used to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. The FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "have been devoting a great deal of effort to understand the circumstances and reasons for the episodes of drug-resistant bacterial infections associated with duodenoscopes," Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection

Common Antiseptic Can Prevent Infant Deaths, Study Says

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – Using a low-cost antiseptic to clean the umbilical cords of babies born outside of a hospital lowers infant infection and death rates in developing countries, researchers say. "Based on our review, using chlorhexidine to clean the umbilical cord saves newborn babies lives," said lead researcher Anju Sinha of the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi. The findings were based on 12 clinical trials, some of them conducted in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. The results were published March 5 in the Cochrane Library. "The greatest benefits were seen in the Southeast Asian studies," Sinha said in a journal news release. "The results from African studies are less convincing, so we would like to see whether the results from ongoing trials in Zambia and Tanzania can substantiate this evidence," Sinha added. The review concluded that cleaning umbilical ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Chlorhexidine, Hibiclens, Peridex, Periogard, Betasept, Perisol, Dyna-Hex, Calgon Vesta, Exidine, Chlorostat 4, Spectrum-4, Hibistat Towelette, Denti-Rinse, PerioChip, Chlorostat, Hibistat, Bactoshield, Biopatch

Airport Screenings Miss Roughly Half of Sick Travelers: Study

Posted 27 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 – Airport screenings for infectious diseases often miss 50 percent or more of sick travelers, mostly because people do not tell the truth about their exposure to illnesses, a new study suggests. "Honest reporting can not only improve on-site detection, but is essential to enable authorities to follow up with travelers who may have been exposed but have not yet developed symptoms," wrote researcher and graduate student Katelyn Gostic, from the Lloyd-Smith Lab at University of California, Los Angeles. Using a mathematical model, researchers from UCLA and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analyzed airport screenings for six viruses: SARS coronavirus, Ebola virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Marburg virus, influenza H1N1, and influenza H7N9. They found one of the biggest barriers to successful health screenings at airports ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Colistimethate for Injection USP, 150 mg and Rifampin for Injection USP, 600 mg/vial by Heritage Pharmaceuticals: Recall - Lack of Sterility Assurance

Posted 25 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the voluntary nationwide recall of ten (10) lots of Colistimethate for Injection, USP, 150 mg Single-Dose vial (NDC 23155-193-31) and three (3) lots of Rifampin for Injection, USP, 600 mg Single-Dose vial (NDC 23155-340-31) manufactured by Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and distributed by Heritage. Heritage has initiated this voluntary recall to the user level due to FDA observations pertaining to aseptic and GMP practices at the manufacturer's site potentially impacting product sterility. See the Press Release for a listing of affected lot numbers. Intravenous administration of non-sterile injection products to a normally sterile site may result in a site-specific or systemic infection, which in turn may cause hospitalization, significant morbidity (permanent organ damage), or fatal outcome. To date, Heritage is not aware of any adverse ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Rifampin, Colistimethate, Rifadin, Rifadin IV, Rimactane, Coly-Mycin M

2 Deaths, Scores of Potential 'Superbug' Infections at UCLA Med Center

Posted 19 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 19, 2015 – At least 100 patients may have been exposed to medical devices contaminated with a "superbug" at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where the devices are already believed to be responsible for seven serious infections, including two deaths. Endoscopes that were used to perform digestive procedures between October and January were contaminated with Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), hospital officials said Thursday. The hospital said about 100 patients may have been exposed to the contaminated devices. The Associated Press reported that 180 patients might be at risk. Free home-testing kits are being delivered to all potentially infected patients, and UCLA will analyze the results, the medical center said. The two endoscopes thought responsible for the infections were used in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic and bile duct ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Infection Prophylaxis

Health Tip: Cleaning Cutting Boards

Posted 17 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Cutting boards are essential kitchen tools, but it's important to clean them properly to avoid cross-contamination and food-related illness. The U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service suggests: If you use a cutting board for meat, make sure you use a separate one for other types of food such as produce or bread, etc. Clean a cutting board with hot, soapy water, followed by a rinse in clean water and patting dry with a clean towel. Wash nonporous plastic, acrylic, glass and solid wood cutting boards in the dishwasher. Clean wooden and plastic cutting boards by covering the surface with a solution of one tablespoon of unscented bleach per one gallon of water. Bamboo cutting boards are more resistant to bacteria and absorb less water. They can be dampened with mineral oil if they begin to dry out. Replace any cutting board that is noticeably worn or has deep grooves. Read more

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Environment Trumps Genes at Shaping Immune System: Study

Posted 15 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 – Environment plays a larger role than genes in shaping people's immune systems, a new study suggests. Researchers compared 78 pairs of identical twins – who are nearly genetically the same – and 27 pairs of nonidentical twins, who have about 50 percent of their genes in common. Three-quarters of the immune system differences between the twins were due to environmental influences such as previous exposure to microbes or toxins, vaccinations, diet and dental hygiene. Among identical twins, environmental effects on the immune system were stronger among those 60 and older than among those younger than 20, the Stanford University School of Medicine researchers found. The study was published Jan. 15 in the journal Cell. "Nonheritable influences, particularly microbes, seem to play a huge role in driving immune variation," senior study author Mark Davis, a professor ... Read more

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More Evidence Breast-Feeding Lowers Child's Risk of Infections, Allergies

Posted 2 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 – Two new studies further confirm the health benefits of breast-feeding. One suggests that 6-year-olds who were breast-fed have a lower risk of ear, throat and sinus infections compared to bottle-fed infants, while the other finds a similar trend when it comes to allergies. The research upholds the "many benefits of breast-feeding in the immediate newborn period," said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She was not involved in the new studies. The studies were published online Sept. 1 in the journal Pediatrics. Current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics urge women to breast-feed baby exclusively for the first six months of life, and then combine breast milk and other foods until at least 12 months. The two studies sought to determine if breast-feeding's health benefits lingered long after ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Clinical Specialties Compounding Pharmacy Products: Recall - All Sterile Products Recalled Due To Lack of Sterility Assurance

Posted 25 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Clinical Specialties is voluntarily recalling all lots of all sterile products repackaged and distributed by the pharmacy due to lack of sterility assurance. The recall of all sterile products is conducted in follow-up to concerns regarding practices at the site which cannot assure the sterility of the products. BACKGROUND: This expanded recall follows the firm’s initial recall of Avastin on March 18, 2013, due to reports of five patients who have been diagnosed with serious eye infections associated with the use of the product. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified the FDA of these endophthalmitis infections, which occur inside the eyeball. Endophthalmitis after intravitreal injection is a serious complication that can lead to permanent loss of vision. Clinical Specialties Compounding sterile products covered under this recall were distributed nationwide be ... Read more

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Dialysis Catheters Tied to Higher Risk for Infection, Death, Study Finds

Posted 21 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 – Dialysis patients using catheters have a higher risk for death, infection and heart problems than patients using other procedures to access the blood, according to a new analysis. Researchers examined 67 studies involving nearly 600,000 dialysis patients to compare the risks associated with three procedures used to access the blood: arteriovenous fistula, arteriovenous graft and central venous catheter. An arteriovenous fistula is formed when a patient's vein and artery are connected to form a site through which blood can be removed and returned. An arteriovenous graft is a plastic channel between an artery and a vein. A third option for dialysis patients is a catheter, which patients often use to avoid surgery or needles or because of declining health. Because of kidney failure, more than 1.5 million people around the world are treated with hemodialysis. The ... Read more

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Multiple Tests Needed to Spot Infections in Newborns: Study

Posted 20 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 – Multiple tests are needed to detect bacterial infections in newborns with a low birth weight, a news study suggests. The study authors looked at amniotic and umbilical cord blood samples from 44 premature infants who had low birth weights. Most of the infants had been diagnosed with early onset sepsis, which occurs within 72 hours of birth. Sepsis is a life-threatening blood infection that can be caused by a number of types of bacteria. For the new study, the researchers found that cultures commonly used to detect bacterial infections in newborns with low birth weights and early-onset sepsis failed to detect more than 20 types of bacteria. Some of those bacteria species were present in both the amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood, the researchers said. The study results point to the need for multiple tests – such as DNA analysis – to identify bacteria that ... Read more

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Scientists Explore How Zinc Fights Off Infection

Posted 7 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 – Many Americans take zinc supplements to zap colds, and a new study seeks to explain how the mineral works. Zinc helps fight infections by balancing the immune system's response, according to the study led by Daren Knoell, a professor of pharmacy and internal medicine at Ohio State University. "We believe that our findings help to narrow an important gap that has existed in our understanding of how this relatively simple metal helps us defend ourselves from infection," Knoell said in a university news release. Zinc deficiency affects about 2 billion people worldwide, including roughly 40 percent of the elderly in the United States. It can have severe consequences among vulnerable people, the researchers noted. Red meat and poultry are rich in zinc, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Other foods that contain zinc are beans, nuts, some shellfish, whole ... Read more

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In Hospitals, Daily Antiseptic Bath May Prevent Dangerous Infections

Posted 6 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 – A daily swabbing with a simple antiseptic greatly decreases the number of life-threatening bloodstream infections and drug-resistant bacteria lurking among patients in acute-care hospital units, a new study suggests. Researchers found that bathing patients with washcloths soaked with chlorhexidine – a cheap, broad-spectrum antiseptic – lowered the rate of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections by 28 percent. Highly feared multidrug-resistant organisms such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus) were reduced by 23 percent. "We're talking about an intervention that's very simple to implement and minimal in cost," said study author Dr. Edward Wong, chief of infectious disease at Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Va. "This can be laid on top of all the other things [experts ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection

Health Tip: Antibiotic Resistance Is Dangerous

Posted 11 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

-- Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way to survive despite a person's use of an antibiotic. Antibiotics are medications that fight a specific bacterial infection. Resistance may result when an antibiotic is over-prescribed, when it's inappropriately prescribed for an viral illness (such as the common cold), or if a person stops taking an antibiotic before the entire prescription is used. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the dangers of antibiotic resistance include: Resistant bacteria can be spread to friends, family members and coworkers. Resistant bacteria can affect entire communities with illnesses that are expensive and difficult to treat. Resistant infections can target people with weaker immune systems – such as babies, young children and older adults. Some infections can be deadly. Read more

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