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Infections News

Post-Op Bacterial Infection Raises Odds for Complications, Death

Posted 13 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – People recuperating from surgery are much more likely to die or develop complications if they become infected with a dangerous diarrhea-causing bacteria, a new study suggests. Patients at VA hospitals who contracted Clostridium difficile following surgery were five times more likely to die and 12 times more likely to suffer a complication of the heart, lung, kidneys or nervous system, according to findings published online Nov. 25 in the journal JAMA Surgery. "C. difficile infection is a big hit to take for people who are already behind the eight-ball," said Dr. Brian Zuckerbraun, a surgeon at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System who co-wrote an accompanying editorial. "It's just a big insult to their system, when they are vulnerable." C. difficile is a tough and opportunistic bacteria that can invade the intestines of people whose gut bacteria have been wiped ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Surgery, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Clostridial Infection, Bacteremia

Private Rooms May Save Money By Cutting Hospital Infection Rates

Posted 1 day 6 hours ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 – Patients in private hospital rooms are less likely to develop infections, which saves hospitals money in the long run, a new study reveals. The findings show that the costs of building private hospital rooms are more than offset by the health care savings of preventing hospital-acquired infections, according to the researchers. "We showed that although single-patient rooms are more costly to build and operate, they can result in substantial savings compared with open-bay rooms – all of this by avoiding costs associated with hospital-acquired infections," study lead author Hessam Sadatsafavi, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, said in a university news release. The researchers determined the costs of building single rooms or converting multi-patient rooms to private rooms, and the annual operating costs. They then examined the "internal rate of ... Read more

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Arsenic Exposure in Womb Linked to Respiratory Risks in Babies

Posted 2 days 10 hours ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 – Babies exposed to high levels of arsenic in the womb are at increased risk for infections and respiratory symptoms in their first year of life, a new study suggests. Researchers measured levels of arsenic in 412 pregnant women in New Hampshire whose homes had private wells. For a year after their babies were born, the women were surveyed every four months about the number and severity of their children's infections and respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing. Infants exposed to arsenic in the womb had more infections that led to a doctor visit or treatment with prescription medications, the investigators found. In addition, those exposed to higher levels of arsenic in the womb tended to have more upper and lower respiratory tract infections, as well as respiratory symptoms. The study was published recently in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. "These ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Delivery, Premature Labor, Respiratory Tract Disease, Labor Pain, Arsenic Trioxide, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Trisenox, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Scientists Spot Gene That Could Make Bacteria Resistant to All Antibiotics

Posted 7 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – Scientists in China say they've identified a gene that makes a common, dangerous bacteria resistant to "last-resort" antibiotics called polymyxins. The gene, called mcr-1, was found in the Enterobacteriaceae germ harbored by both pigs and people in south China, according to a report published Nov. 18 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Some strains of the bacteria have the potential to cause epidemics, the researchers said. "These are extremely worrying results," study author Jian-Hua Liu, a professor at South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, China, said in a journal news release. "The polymyxins (colistin and polymyxin B) were the last class of antibiotics in which resistance was incapable of spreading from cell to cell," he explained. "Until now, colistin resistance resulted from chromosomal mutations, making the resistance mechanism unstable and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections

When Antibiotics Are Needed

Posted 8 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – Overuse of antibiotics is one of the main causes of antibiotic resistance, a major public health threat in the United States. In an effort to combat the problem, the eighth annual "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week" is being sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners from Nov. 16-22. "All use of antibiotics leads, eventually, to resistant bacteria, where those antibiotics just won't work anymore. And overuse – unnecessary use for viruses or colds – leads to resistance that much faster," said Dr. Saul Hymes, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children's Hospital, in Stony Brook, N.Y. People must understand that antibiotics cure bacterial infections, not viral infections such as colds or the flu, he said in a hospital news release. In most cases, symptoms of upper respiratory infections – ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections

Rectal Thermometer Remains Gold Standard for Spotting Fever

Posted 9 days ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2015 – Although it's no one's favorite method, a rectal thermometer is the best way to determine someone's body temperature, experts say. Accurate body temperature readings are important because they are used to make diagnoses, check for infectious diseases, evaluate whether or not a treatment is working, and guide patient management, the study authors explained. Rectal thermometers are considered the gold standard, the researchers said. But the accuracy of thermometers used in the mouth or under the arm (peripheral thermometers) has been unclear. So, the researchers reviewed 75 published studies. They found that peripheral thermometers are less accurate than rectal thermometers, particularly for low-grade fevers. The findings were published online Nov. 16 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Health care workers should use rectal thermometers when a patient's ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Fever

SARS-like Virus in Bats Could Jump to Humans

Posted 14 days ago by

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 – A newly identified SARS-like virus in bats appears to be able to jump to humans without mutation, new research suggests. However, it's not yet clear whether it would then be able to spread from person to person, the researchers said. A worldwide outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003 was caused by a coronavirus that jumped from animals to humans. That outbreak resulted in 8,000 infections and nearly 800 deaths, the researchers noted. "Studies have predicted the existence of nearly 5,000 coronaviruses in bat populations, and some of these have the potential to emerge as human pathogens," senior study author Ralph Baric, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a university news release. "So this is not a situation of 'if' there will be an outbreak of one of these coronaviruses, but rather when and how prepared ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Viral Infection, Respiratory Tract Disease

Emergency Surgery Patients Often Wind Up Back in Hospital: Study

Posted 15 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 – Nearly one in five patients who are readmitted to a hospital after having emergency general surgery are there because they developed a surgical site infection, a new study suggests. "Reducing readmissions is a noble cost-saving goal with benefits not only to the hospitals, but also to the patients," researcher Dr. Joaquim Havens, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues wrote. "However, it is critical to understand the underlying factors associated with readmission to appropriately identify quality-improvement measures that address the true problem." There was wide variation in readmission rates, depending on the type of surgery and patient characteristics, the study authors said. The investigators examined data from more than 177,000 patients, aged 18 and older, who had emergency general surgery in California between 2007 and 2011. The most ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Surgery, Surgical Prophylaxis

Complications From Tummy Tucks Exceed Other Cosmetic Surgeries

Posted 5 Nov 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 – Tummy tucks cause more major complications than other types of cosmetic surgery, researchers report. The risk is even higher among patients who have a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in combination with other types of cosmetic surgery, according to the new findings. "Although the overall incidence of major complications is low, such complications can leave a potentially devastating cosmetic outcome and pose a significant financial burden on the patient and surgeon," the study authors wrote. For the study, researchers analyzed data from 2008 to 2013 from an insurance program that covers cosmetic surgery complications. Major complications occurred in 4 percent of tummy tucks, compared with 1.4 percent of other types of cosmetic surgery, the study found. Most common major complications were hematomas (collection of blood outside blood vessels), infections, blood ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Surgery, Bacterial Skin Infection

Kids at Growing Risk of Deadly 'Superbug' Infection: Study

Posted 22 Oct 2015 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2015 – Rates of a deadly "superbug" infection are on the rise among American children, especially those aged 5 and younger, a new study shows. The infections are caused by a type of bacteria called Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). CRE is most common in hospitals and long-term care centers and is resistant to many types of antibiotics. The death rate from CRE infections is about 50 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Past research on CRE has focused on adults, and there is little data on this type of infection in children. In this study, researchers analyzed data from 1999 to 2012 throughout the United States and found that CRE infection rates in children rose from 0 percent in 1999-2000 to 0.47 percent in 2011-2012. The largest increase – from 0 percent to 4.5 percent – occurred among 1- through 5-year-olds being ... Read more

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

Plague May Have Infected Humans Earlier Than Thought

Posted 22 Oct 2015 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2015 – Plague infected humans thousands of years earlier than previously believed, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed DNA from the teeth of Bronze Age human remains in Europe and Asia and found signs of plague infections about 4,800 years ago. That is 3,300 years earlier than prior evidence. But it was at least another thousand years before the plague-causing Yersinia pestis bacterium went through genetic changes that enabled it to spread via fleas and to avoid the host immune system, the new study contends. The study was published Oct. 22 in the journal Cell. "We found that the Y. pestis lineage originated and was widespread much earlier than previously thought, and we narrowed the time window as to when it developed," senior author Eske Willerslev of the Center for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, said in a journal news release. "This ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Plague

Newborns Vulnerable to Common Staph Infections: Study

Posted 19 Oct 2015 by

MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2015 – Bloodstream infections in newborns are rare, but when they occur, normal staph infections are just as dangerous as antibiotic-resistant ones, a new study finds. "Just because a bug responds well to antibiotics doesn't mean it's any less deadly," senior investigator Dr. Aaron Milstone, an infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, said in a Hopkins news release. "If not detected and treated early, invasive bloodstream infections with garden-variety staph can wreak just as much damage on a newborn's body as antibiotic-resistant forms," he warned. Public health experts tend to focus on drug-resistant infections. But the researchers behind the new study found that non-resistant staph infections occur more than twice as often in newborns as resistant strains, and they have nearly as high a death rate. For the study, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Infections, Contraception, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Delivery, Labor Induction, Premature Labor, Nasal Carriage of Staphylococcus Aureus, Labor Pain, Apnea of Prematurity, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Ebola Persists for Extended Period in Survivors' Semen: Study

Posted 14 Oct 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2015 – The Ebola virus is capable of hiding out in the semen of male survivors for up to nine months after symptoms appear, a new study suggests. And a related case report illustrates why this latest discovery is so concerning: Scientists from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Maryland found evidence in blood and semen samples that a male Ebola survivor from Liberia infected his female partner a full six months after his blood tested negative for the deadly virus. His semen sample tested positive. The first study stems from an ongoing effort to track the fallout from last year's Ebola outbreak. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the deadly virus has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people, and infected an estimated 28,000 in three West African nations: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Researchers from the WHO, ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Small Hospitals Seeing More Drug-Resistant E. Coli Infections

Posted 14 Oct 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2015 – Drug-resistant E. coli infections are on the increase in small community hospitals, where more than half of U.S. patients receive their health care, researchers report. The researchers analyzed data from 26 hospitals in the Southeast, and found that cases of drug-resistant E. coli infections doubled from 2009 to 2014 – from slightly more than 5 per 100,000 patients to 10.5 per 100,000 patients. The median, or midpoint, age of patients infected with this E. coli strain was 72, according to the study published online Oct. 13 in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. "We have always considered antibiotic-resistant organisms a problem at large hospitals," senior study author Dr. Deverick Anderson, an infectious disease specialist at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., said in a university news release. "This study goes a long way ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Skin Infection, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Bacteremia, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy

Plight of NFL Player Stricken by MRSA Germ 'Extremely Unusual'

Posted 13 Oct 2015 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2015 – Infectious diseases doctors say they're puzzled by a serious MRSA infection that could cost a professional football player his foot. The case of New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells is unusual for several reasons, the experts say. First, because infection rates for the so-called "superbug" are falling in the United States. And second, the 6-foot, 4-inch 260-pound Fells is far from the type of patient who's likely to develop a MRSA infection so serious that amputation may be required. "In a healthy young athlete, to have an amputation from MRSA is extremely unusual," said Dr. Aaron Glatt, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. People who typically develop serious MRSA infections are older, frequently hospitalized, or suffering from a chronic disease like diabetes, said Glatt, who's also an infectious diseases specialist at South Nassau ... Read more

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

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Bacterial Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, Skin and Structure Infection, Herpes Zoster, Clostridial Infection, Bone Infection, Osteomyelitis, Lyme Disease, Amebiasis, view more... Infection Prophylaxis, Malaria, Giardiasis, Babesiosis, Toxoplasmosis, Joint Infection, Mononucleosis, Infectious Mononucleosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Post-Polio Syndrome, Chancroid, Adjunct to Antibiotic Therapy, Postoperative Infection, Salmonella Extraintestinal Infection, Leishmaniasis, Blastocystis Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Trypanosomiasis, Microsporidiosis, Lymphadenopathy, Viral Infection, Balantidium coli, Mediastinal Infection, Worms and Flukes, Helminthic Infection