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Infections News

FDA Bolsters Warnings About Class of Antibiotics

Posted 14 hours ago by

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it's strengthening label warnings on a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones because the drugs can lead to disabling side effects, including long-term nerve damage and ruptured tendons. The agency also cautioned that these bacteria-fighting drugs – including levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro) – shouldn't be prescribed for sinusitis, chronic bronchitis or simple urinary tract infections unless no other treatments options exist. "Fluoroquinolones have risks and benefits that should be considered very carefully," Dr. Edward Cox said in an FDA news release. He's director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "It's important that both health care providers and patients are aware of both the risks and benefits of ... Read more

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Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Detected in Sewage Spill

Posted 5 days ago by

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – Sewer line breaks can release antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose a public health threat, a new study says. Consider the 2014 sewer line break in St. Petersburg, Fla., that released 500,000 gallons of untreated wastewater into neighborhoods and Boca Ciega Bay. University of South Florida researchers who did follow-up testing of soil and water said they detected genes from vancomycin-resistant bacteria for nearly two weeks after the sewer line break. One of those genes is capable of transferring vancomycin resistance to other strains of bacteria. Vancomycin, considered an antibiotic of last resort, is used to treat serious infections that don't respond to other antibiotics, the researchers noted. "While we have known that raw sewage contains many disease-causing bacteria, this experience tells us that sewage and fecal pollution also carry vancomycin-resistant ... Read more

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

Mixed Progress in Worldwide Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Posted 8 days ago by

TUESDAY, July 19, 2016 – The number of HIV/AIDS deaths worldwide each year has fallen since peaking in 2005, but the number of new HIV infections is up in 74 countries, according to a new study. Deaths from HIV/AIDS fell to 1.2 million in 2015 from 1.8 million in 2005. Though the number of new HIV infections has decreased since a peak of 3.3 million in 1997, it has been relatively stable at about 2.5 million a year for the past decade. Worldwide, new HIV infections fell just 0.7 percent a year between 2005 and 2015, compared to 2.7 percent a year between 1997 and 2005, the study found. Sub-Saharan Africa continued to be a trouble spot, accounting for three-quarters of new HIV infections (1.8 million) in 2015. Last year, south Asia had 8.5 percent (212,500) of new infections; southeast Asia, 4.7 percent (117,500); and east Asia, 2.3 percent (57,500). Between 2005 and 2015, the ... Read more

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Is Swimming Safe in Areas With the Freshwater 'Brain-Eating' Amoeba?

Posted 13 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 14, 2016 – The headlines are terrifying, and the story details are even worse as you read about a child who goes for a swim in a lake or river and then falls prey to a "brain-eating amoeba." The brain infection brought on by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that flourishes in warm open waters, can quickly prove fatal, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As disturbing as these reports are, parents don't need to bar their kids from the local swimming spot due to fear of Naegleria, infectious disease experts say. These cases make headlines because they are so unexpected and devastating, but the infection itself is "very, very uncommon," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior associate with the University of Pittsburgh's UPMC Center For Health Security. "You have to think about how many times people have exposure to water that has Naegleria in it, and how ... Read more

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2nd U.S. Case of Bacteria Resistant to Last-Resort Antibiotic

Posted 15 days ago by

MONDAY, July 11, 2016 – Scientists have identified a second patient in the United States who was infected with a bacteria that is resistant to an antibiotic of last resort. The new case involved a patient in New York, while the first reported case involved a woman from Pennsylvania. However, the New York patient was actually infected more than a year ago and the resistant bacteria was only spotted recently in lab testing. The Pennsylvania infection occurred last spring, researchers said. Both patients had E. coli with a gene called mcr-1, which makes bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin, the scientists explained. In the latest study, the researchers tested more than 13,500 strains of E. coli and nearly 7,500 strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae collected from hospitals in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in 2015. The results showed that almost 2 ... Read more

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

Headed to the Pool? Protect Yourself From the Poop

Posted 17 days ago by

SATURDAY, July 9, 2016 – Swimming is a great way to cool off on a hot day, but beware of fecal contamination that can make you sick, an expert says. "The most common problems people get while swimming are intestinal infections, either bacterial or viral," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever. These symptoms occur several hours after infection, so people often don't realize they were infected while swimming. There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of such infections. Check the pool before you or your children get in. "Does it have clear and clean water? If not, you should reconsider getting in," Schaffner said in a medical center news release. Before going into a pool, always take a shower. Anyone who has had stomach ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Infectious Gastroenteritis, Traveler's Diarrhea

Can an Antibiotic Help You? Quick Test Might Someday Tell

Posted 18 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2016 – Health experts have long warned that antibiotics are overused, often prescribed for viral infections for which the drugs are useless. A quick blood test to determine whether an infection is viral or bacterial would help curb the problem – and scientists now say that test may come soon. One family physician believes the screen could be a great advance for patients. "It would reduce unnecessary antibiotic use – which, if it continues unchecked, will threaten entire populations of individuals because of growing antibiotic resistance," said Dr. Howard Selinger. He is chair of family medicine at Quinnipiac University's School of Medicine in Hamden, Conn. Such a blood test "would also have the advantage of helping patients avoid potentially dangerous and harmful antibiotic side effects," Selinger added. As explained by researchers at Stanford University in ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection

Health Tip: Protect Your Child's Sandbox

Posted 18 days ago by

-- A sandbox is a fun way for your child to get creative outdoors. But it also can harbor germs. To help keep your child's sandbox safer, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests: Use only natural river or beach sand. Cover the sandbox when not in use to keep animals and insects out. Let wet sand dry completely before covering. Rake sand regularly to get rid of clumps and debris. Keep pets out of the sandbox Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection

Toys Remain Viral Playground for 24 Hours

Posted 6 Jul 2016 by

TUESDAY, July 5, 2016 – You probably keep your kids away from playmates who cough or sneeze. But how much thought do you give to toys at the doctor's office or day care? A new study finds toys help spread the flu and other viruses because germs can survive on plastic surfaces for as many as 24 hours, a new study shows. "People don't really think about getting viruses from inanimate objects," said study author Richard Bearden II, of Georgia State University. "They think about getting them from other people." The study findings suggest taking a good look at the playthings your children handle, Bearden said. "I think the main focus should be for parents, daycare facilities, doctor's offices and other places where children share toys to implement some type of strategy for decontamination to make sure those toys aren't a reservoir for disease," Bearden said in a university news release. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Viral Infection

1 in 3 Hospitals in Developing World Lack Running Water

Posted 3 Jul 2016 by

SUNDAY, July 3, 2016 – Clean running water is essential for hospital sanitation, but a new report finds a third of hospitals in the developing world don't have it. "Running water is something we so take for granted and it doesn't exist in a third of hospitals in these countries," said study co-leader Dr. Adam Kushner, adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore. He said some hospitals try to find a way around the problem, but hazards remain. "Some hospitals truck in water or collect it in rain barrels, with no guarantee of its cleanliness," Kushner said. "Without clean water, there is no way to clean surgeons' hands or instruments, wash gowns and sheets or clean wounds to prevent or reduce infections." His team examined 19 studies published between 2009 and 2015. The studies included data on water availability in 430 hospitals in 19 low- and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Viral Infection

New Test Help Detect Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – The Xpert Carba-R Assay diagnostic, which tests patient specimens for genetic markers associated with drug-resistant bacteria, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The test specifically looks for bacteria resistant to Carbapenem antibiotics, powerful drugs typically given in hospitals to treat severe infections. Standard methods require the organisms to be grown and tested in lab cultures, which can take four days or longer, the FDA said in a news release. However, the agency stressed the new test only determines the presence of certain genetic markers, not for the actual resistant bacteria. It advised that hospitals should continue to use culture-based testing to confirm findings from the new test. In two clinical studies involving more than 1,100 people, the new test was found to be as effective as culture-based testing in evaluating ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Skin and Structure Infection

FDA Asks How Safe Is That Hand Sanitizer?

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, June 29, 2016 – Millions of Americans use hand sanitizers every day, believing they safely kill bacteria. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to find out if that's really true. The agency Wednesday requested makers of antibacterial hand sanitizers and related products to provide data showing the products' active ingredients actually reduce bacteria and are harmless over time. Of particular concern are the long-term effects of these sanitizers on pregnant women and children, the agency said. "These products provide a convenient alternative when hand washing with plain soap and water is unavailable, but it's our responsibility to determine whether these products are safe and effective so that consumers can be confident when using them on themselves and their families multiple times a day," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and ... Read more

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Boston's Subways Packed With Germs

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 – Boston's subway system is swarming with microbes, and while that might send a shiver down your spine, the study's authors said that most of these bugs are harmless and won't make you sick. Researchers collected and studied 100 samples from all over the subway system. Samples were taken from the hanging grips; horizontal and vertical poles; seats; seat backs; walls of subway cars; and the touch-screens and sides of ticketing machines in stations. The highest levels of microbes were found on hanging grips and seats in subway cars, and on the touch-screens in stations. On all surfaces tested, most of the microbes were from human skin and unable to cause disease. The study was published June 28 in the journal mSystems. Levels of microbes that affect antibiotic resistance were "much lower than what you'd find in a normal human gut. They're exactly what you'd run ... Read more

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Zika Infection May Give Future Immunity, Monkey Study Suggests

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 – Infection with the Zika virus may protect against future infection, but pregnancy seems to extend how long the mosquito-borne virus stays in the body, a new study in monkeys suggests. "We have good news for most people: If you are not pregnant and not at risk of becoming pregnant, you probably don't need to be worried about Zika," said study leader David O'Connor. He is a professor of pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "But my concern for Zika virus in pregnancy is much higher now than it was six months ago," O'Connor added. In the study, researchers infected rhesus macaque monkeys with the Zika virus strain that emerged in South America in 2015. The investigators found that those monkeys resisted infection with the same strain 10 weeks later. "This is good news for vaccine design. It suggests the sort of immunity that occurs naturally is ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Viral Infection, Zika Virus Infection

Contaminated Gloves a No-No in Hospitals

Posted 25 Jun 2016 by

FRIDAY, June 24, 2016 – Health care workers who wear contaminated gloves can transfer bacteria onto hospital surfaces, a new study warns. "Infection control is a priority for all hospitals to reduce the spread of [bacteria]," said study author Sae Otani, a master course student at Bunkyo Gakuin University in Japan. "Gloving is recommended as a barrier protection for health care workers to reduce the risk of contamination during contact with infectious sputum [saliva], urine and body fluids," but not changing or removing contaminated gloves carries a high risk of transmitting harmful germs, she noted in a news release from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). For the study, Otani and her colleagues contaminated examination gloves with certain types of bacteria found in hospitals and other health care facilities. They then touched the gloves to a sterilized polypropylene surface. ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection

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