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Viral Infection News

What to Do if Your Child Has Chickenpox

Posted 8 days ago by

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2017 – Have a child with chickenpox? Don't despair. There are a number of things you can do to care for a child with this disease. "For most healthy children, chickenpox clears on its own without treatment," said Dr. Sheila Fallon Friedlander, a professor of pediatrics and dermatology at the University of California, San Diego. However, chickenpox is highly contagious. That makes it important to keep your child at home or limit contact with other people, Friedlander said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. This should be the case until all the chickenpox blisters have formed scabs, which usually takes a week, and there are no new blisters. To relieve itchiness, she suggests giving your child baths with colloidal oatmeal. You can get this at drugstores. Add the oatmeal under the faucet while filling the tub with lukewarm – not hot – water. After ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Varicella-Zoster, Varicella Virus Vaccine, Measles Virus Vaccine/Mumps Virus Vaccine/Rubella Virus Vaccine/Varicella Virus Vaccine, ProQuad, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Varivax, Varicella-Zoster - Prophylaxis

Mom-to-Be's Immune Response May Trigger Zika Birth Defects

Posted 11 days ago by

FRIDAY, Jan. 5, 2018 – Zika might not directly cause the miscarriages and birth defects that have been associated with the notorious virus, a new study in mice suggests. Instead, the ravaging effects of Zika infection on a developing fetus appear to stem from the immune response of the expecting mother, researchers said. Lab mice bred without a key step in their immune response wound up birthing pups that survived Zika infection, while normal mice either lost their pregnancy or produced very underweight pups, the study found. "The antiviral response generated in response to Zika infection is causing the miscarriage of the fetus, as opposed to the virus itself," according to senior researcher Akiko Iwasaki. She is a professor of immunobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Iwasaki and her colleagues are now investigating whether a woman's immune response also causes some or ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Human Cold Virus Killed Chimpanzees

Posted 19 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27, 2017 – Five healthy chimpanzees in Uganda that died following a mysterious respiratory disease outbreak in 2013 were actually killed by a common human cold virus, scientists now say. The deaths in the small chimpanzee community followed an "explosive outbreak of severe coughing and sneezing," according to study author Dr. Tony Goldberg, a professor with the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine. In a university news release, Goldberg says it's now clear that the illness was brought about by exposure to the so-called "rhinovirus C," a common human virus. "It was completely unknown that rhinovirus C could infect anything other than humans," Goldberg noted. "It was surprising to find it in chimpanzees, and it was equally surprising that it could kill healthy chimpanzees outright." The study team pointed out that rhinovirus C was first detected in ... Read more

Related support groups: Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Viral Infection

Reduce Stress and Eat Healthy to Fight Infection

Posted 22 Dec 2017 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2017 – A hectic holiday pace not only tires you out, it makes it easier to pick up an infection. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and healthy eating are among the things you can do to stay healthy if you're traveling over the holidays, one expert suggests. Stress levels can rise at this time of year, so it's important to acknowledge and manage your anxiety, said Dr. James Riddell, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Michigan. "When stress hormones are produced, that leads to a decrease in your immune system's ability to fight off various infections. It also contributes to a pro-inflammatory state, which isn't healthy," he said in a university news release. Be sure to get enough sleep – at least seven hours a night. "Poor sleep hygiene can have an effect on immune function through increased stress hormones, which can increase susceptibility to ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Viral Infection

Zika Babies Facing Increasing Health Problems With Age

Posted 15 Dec 2017 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 – Most children born with brain abnormalities caused by the Zika virus are facing severe health and developmental challenges at 2 years of age, a new study suggests. These problems may include seizures, an inability to sit independently as well as problems with sleep, feeding, hearing and vision, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their findings come from a study of 19 Zika-infected children in Brazil, the epicenter of a Zika outbreak that began in 2015. Most of the children were found to have problems in multiple areas as a result of prenatal exposure to the mosquito-borne virus, the researchers reported. "Children severely affected by Zika virus are falling far behind age-appropriate developmental milestones, and their challenges are becoming more evident as they age," CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said in ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Repeat Infection Likely for Men With HPV

Posted 8 Dec 2017 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 8, 2017 – Men infected with genital human papillomavirus (HPV) are at high risk for reinfection with the same type of HPV, researchers say. The investigators also found that the risk for reinfection after a year increased 20-fold for men who've been infected with HPV16 – the type responsible for most HPV-related cancers. And the risk was 14 times higher after two years. This was true in both men who were sexually active and those who were celibate. That suggests that they are not re-acquiring the virus from another sexual partner, according to the study from the University of Chicago Medical Center. The researchers analyzed data from more than 4,000 men who were not vaccinated against HPV. The men lived in Florida, Mexico and Brazil and were tracked from 2005 to 2009. The findings show the importance of HPV vaccination in young males before they become sexually active, ... Read more

Related support groups: Human Papilloma Virus, Gardasil, Viral Infection, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Cervarix, Gardasil 9

Health Tip: Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

Posted 8 Dec 2017 by

-- Norovirus is a highly-contagious germ that triggers vomiting and diarrhea. It tends to lurk in confined areas, such as on cruise ships and in college dorms. Each year in the United States, norovirus causes up to 21 million illnesses, about 70,000 hospitalizations and as many as 800 deaths. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests how to protect yourself from norovirus: Wash your hands often with soap and water. Prepare food safely. Disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated after someone is sick nearby. Wash laundry thoroughly with hot water, especially if clothing is stained with contaminated fluids or waste. Read more

Related support groups: Infectious Gastroenteritis, Viral Infection

HPV Vaccine Linked to Drop in Cases of Rare Childhood Disease

Posted 9 Nov 2017 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 9, 2017 – The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, first developed to help guard against cervical cancer, also seems to protect against a rare, chronic childhood respiratory disease, a new study suggests. It's believed that the disease – recurrent respiratory papillomatosis – occurs in children when HPV type 6 or 11 spreads from mother to child around the time of birth. Some children develop wart-like, noncancerous growths in the respiratory tract, making it difficult to breathe. The condition can be life-threatening, and repeated surgeries are usually required to keep the airway clear. In the United States, about 800 children develop recurrent respiratory papillomatosis each year. This results in annual medical costs of $123 million, according to a news release from the Journal of Infectious Diseases, which published the study on Nov. 9. For the study, researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Human Papilloma Virus, Condylomata Acuminata, Gardasil, Viral Infection, Respiratory Tract Disease, Cervical Dysplasia, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Cervarix, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Gardasil 9

Health Tip: Prevent Germs at the Doctor's Office

Posted 8 Nov 2017 by

-- The last place you should fear getting sick is in a doctor's waiting room. The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines for pediatricians to prevent the spread of germs. The group says all pediatric medical offices should: Equip waiting rooms with alcohol-based hand sanitizers and masks. Put up visual reminders for kids and caregivers to cover mouths with elbows instead of hands when sneezing. Avoid filling waiting rooms with plush toys that are difficult to clean and may be prime breeding grounds for germs. Encourage kids to bring their own toys or books from home. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Viral Infection

West Nile's Long-Term Bite: Impact on Brain May Last Years

Posted 7 Nov 2017 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 – Some people with a history of West Nile virus may show symptoms such as muscle weakness or foggy memory years later, a preliminary study suggests. West Nile is a mosquito-transmitted infection that turned up in North America in 1999. Since then, outbreaks have occurred across the United States each summer – with more than 47,000 reported cases overall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the true number is estimated to be much higher – more than 3 million – largely because most people with West Nile either do not get sick, or have flu-like symptoms such as a fever and headache. A small number – fewer than 1 percent – develop serious inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. About 10 percent of those patients die, according to the agency. The new study suggests that some patients have lingering issues up to ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites

Robots May Be Cleaning Your Hospital Room Soon

Posted 2 Nov 2017 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 – Hospitals are jumping on a tech trend, enlisting the help of germ-killing robots to tackle a potentially life-threatening but preventable issue: health care-associated infections. For instance, Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville will begin deploying robots this month to protect hospitalized patients from harmful germs, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci). The medical center's first inpatient area to utilize the germ-killing robots will be the Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center. After patients are sent home, their rooms will be cleaned with the usual liquid disinfectants and then a robot will be wheeled into the room to perform additional cleaning. The robot will flood the room with enough ultraviolet (UV) radiation to kill microscopic germs that may still be lurking on surfaces, ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Burns - External, Viral Infection, Wound Infection

Kids, Don't Touch the Toys at the Doctor's Office

Posted 23 Oct 2017 by

MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2017 – Avoid the stuffed animals at your pediatrician's office. Or better yet, take your own playthings when your child has a doctor's appointment. That's one of the tips in updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to prevent the spread of germs in doctors' offices. The guidelines say waiting rooms should not have plush toys, which can harbor germs and are difficult to clean. Instead, parents should bring toys from home for their children. Infection control in doctors' offices or other outpatient locations should be as strict as in hospitals, according to the academy. Cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene are key measures for curbing infections. Pediatricians should post visual reminders for people to cover their nose and mouth with their elbows rather than their hands when coughing and sneezing, and to properly dispose of tissues, the AAP ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Viral Infection, FluLaval, Influenza Prophylaxis, Fluzone, Afluria, FluMist, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flublok, Fluzone Quadrivalent, Flublok 2015-2016, Flucelvax 2016-2017, Fluzone 2015-2016, FluLaval Quadrivalent, Fluad 2016-2017, Fluzone Preservative-Free, Afluria 2015-2016, Agriflu

Is a Dangerous Bird Flu on the Horizon?

Posted 19 Oct 2017 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 19, 2017 – Scientists have found new evidence that the H7N9 bird flu, currently confined to China, has the potential for a widespread outbreak. Public health experts have long been tracking the bird flu strain, which emerged in humans in 2013. Since then, nearly 1,600 cases have been confirmed in China – with a death rate of about 40 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There's no evidence that H7N9 can be readily passed from person to person. There have been only isolated cases of human transmission, the CDC says, with most people falling ill because of contaminated poultry. However, public health officials have been worried about H7N9's potential to eventually trigger a pandemic, or global outbreak. The new study could add to those concerns. Researchers found that samples of H7N9 were easily transmitted among ferrets – an animal ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Tamiflu, Viral Infection, Avian Influenza, Oseltamivir

Some U.S. Olympians Got West Nile in Brazil, But Not Zika

Posted 10 Oct 2017 by

MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2017 – The Zika virus was less of a threat than feared for Olympic athletes at the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil. But other mosquito-borne infections struck a number of Americans, a new study reveals. Of more than 450 Olympians and staffers who provided blood samples, 7 percent tested positive for West Nile virus, dengue fever or chikungunya, researchers found. These other tropical diseases generally cause much milder symptoms than Zika, which has been linked to devastating birth defects. In rare cases, however, these less-feared infections can be disabling or fatal, the researchers said. "We all had our Hollywood sunglasses on, and they blinded us to other possibilities," said Marc Couturier, a medical director at Utah's ARUP Laboratories who led the testing. "We can't forget that West Nile virus has been around for a while, and is still here." About 1 in 5 people with ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

Germs May Be Valuable Passengers on Mission to Mars

Posted 4 Oct 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4, 2017 – Astronauts on space missions to Mars may need more germs on the ship with them to stay in good health, a new study suggests. As scientists prepare for a mission to Mars in the coming decades, the health and safety of astronauts is a top priority. In this new research, scientists honed in on the microorganisms that would be living in close quarters with crews aboard spacecraft. Researchers from Germany, the United Kingdom and Austria, led by the German Aerospace Center, enlisted a crew of six male "Marsonauts." They lived inside a mock spacecraft in Moscow from June 2010 to November 2011. During the mock Mars mission, the researchers monitored how the composition of bacteria changed over time. What they found was that the diversity of germs dropped dramatically during the equivalent of a space flight to Mars. "Until now, little was known about the influence of ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Fungal Infections, Viral Infection

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