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Viral Infection News

HPV Vaccine Linked to Drop in Cases of Rare Childhood Disease

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

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 12 days ago by Drugs.com

-- 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 13 days ago by Drugs.com

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 18 days ago by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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, FluMist, Influenza Prophylaxis, Fluzone, Afluria, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flublok, Flublok Quadrivalent, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Fluvirin, Fluarix Quadrivalent, Fluvirin 2016-2017, Fluad, Fluzone PFS, Flucelvax 2015-2016, Flublok 2016-2017, Fluarix

Is a Dangerous Bird Flu on the Horizon?

Posted 19 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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

Health Tip: Talking To Your Kids About Tattoos

Posted 3 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Although most states require parental consent for tattoos, it's still important to discuss the issue with your child. TheAmerican Academy of Pediatrics says many people are unaware of these potential risks: Infections – Used needles and instruments may spread germs, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV. A licensed tattoo parlor is more likely to be cleaner and safer. Allergies – The pigments in tattoo dyes are not government regulated. Though somewhat uncommon, an allergic reaction to a pigment would be a challenge to reverse since tattoo ink normally is difficult to remove. Granulomas – These are nodules that can form around material that the body thinks is foreign, such as tattoo pigment. Keloids – These are overgrowths of fibrous tissues. People who tend to get these may be at even greater risk of them after getting a tattoo. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Bacterial Infection, Bacterial Skin Infection, Viral Infection, Wound Infection, Minor Skin Conditions

How Zika Virus Went From Mild to Devastating

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – A single genetic mutation just a few years back gave the Zika virus the ability to cause severe neurological birth defects like microcephaly, a new study in mice suggests. Scientists have known about the Zika virus since 1947, when it was discovered in a monkey from the Zika Forest in Uganda. At that point, it was only linked to mild symptoms. It wasn't until the Zika epidemic of 2015 in Central and South America that Zika became known as a cause of microcephaly, a devastating condition in which a newborn's brain and skull are severely underdeveloped. How did that happen? One particular genetic change, which likely occurred in 2013, boosted Zika's ability to damage the neural stem cells that serve as building blocks for a fetus' developing brain, Chinese researchers report. "The evidence suggests this particular mutation somehow increased the ability of the ... Read more

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

Rapid, Easy Zika Test Developed

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – A new fast, easy and cheap "dipstick" test for the Zika and dengue viruses could revolutionize public health response to dangerous tropical germs, a new study reports. The test accurately diagnoses Zika and dengue and can tell the two mosquito-borne viruses apart, an area in which commercially available tests now stumble, said senior researcher Lee Gehrke, a professor with the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. "In light of the problems with Zika virus causing microcephaly [a genetic abnormality resulting in a smaller-than-normal head] and other defects in babies born to infected mothers, it's very important a pregnant woman would know if her fever is caused by Zika virus or dengue virus," said Gehrke, who's also a professor at Harvard Medical School. The new test resembles a pregnancy test strip, Gehrke noted. The strip contains antibodies ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever

When a Cold or Flu Strikes a Family Member

Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2017 – When one child gets sick, you might brace yourself for everyone getting sick. But it's possible to keep healthy family members from falling ill, too. When taking care of a sick child, handwashing is more important than ever. All healthy family members should wash frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub. Do this after every contact with the sick person, their room and bathroom, and any items he or she used. Handwashing is a must after: Every contact with the sick child. Changing diapers. Cleaning soiled linens or clothing. Wiping the child's nose. Forget sharing right now – this extends from food, drinking glasses and utensils to combs, brushes and clothing, including hats and scarves. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your best bet is to create a sick room within your home for the patient, away from ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine, Afrin, Ephedrine, Astelin, Azelastine, Viral Infection, Oxymetazoline, Dymista, Otrivin, Phenylpropanolamine, SudoGest, 4-Way, Olopatadine, Sudafed 12-Hour, Astepro, Tetrahydrozoline

Vision Problems Common in Babies Infected With Zika

Posted 14 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 – When Zika infections strike in the womb, babies' eyes likely suffer, researchers say. Two studies of Brazilian infants with confirmed and suspected Zika virus infection in the womb found that all of them had vision problems. These problems included scarring, misalignment of the eyes, repetitive movement of the eye, and low vision. Of the 102 infants studied, about 40 percent had eye abnormalities and all had visual impairments, the study authors said. The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Because all infants had with visual impairment, these findings suggest "that the visual impairment is most likely related to the extensive damage to the central nervous system," said Dr. Liana Ventura, of HOPE Eye Hospital in Recife, Brazil. She was the lead investigator of one of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Zika Virus Infection

Semen Harbors Wide Range of Viruses

Posted 13 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 – Human semen provides a potential hiding place and breeding ground for a host of dangerous viruses, a new evidence review reports. The analysis of current medical literature revealed genetic evidence of 27 infectious viruses found in semen, including dread-inducing agents like Zika, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa fever and chikungunya, along with mumps, Epstein-Barr and chicken pox. "Clinicians and researchers need to consider the possibility that traditionally non-sexually transmitted viruses can persist in semen, and this therefore raises the possibility of sexual transmission," said lead researcher Alex Salam. He is a clinical researcher with the University of Oxford's epidemic diseases research group in the United Kingdom. However, the presence of viruses in semen does not mean that every virus can be sexually transmitted, the researchers noted. "Detection means ... Read more

Related support groups: Hepatitis C, HIV Infection, Herpes Simplex, Hepatitis B, Viral Infection, Exposure to Hepatitis B Virus, Mumps Polyneuropathy

New Guideline Aims to Help Doctors Diagnose Head, Neck Masses

Posted 12 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Neck masses are common in adults, but the cause is often hard to pinpoint. Now, doctors have a new guideline to help them make that call. The guideline from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery dovetails with a rise in head and neck cancers related to the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV). "A neck mass may indicate a serious medical problem. It does not mean the patient has cancer, but it does mean they need more medical evaluation to make a diagnosis," said Dr. M. Boyd Gillespie, assistant chairman of the group that developed the guideline. In an academy news release, he called the new guideline "an important instrument for the early diagnosis and treatment." A neck mass – an abnormal lump – can be any size and can be due to a number of reasons. It can be a sign of viral or bacterial infection. A neck mass could ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Human Papilloma Virus, Gardasil, Viral Infection, Head and Neck Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Deep Neck Infection, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Cervarix, Solid Tumors, Salivary Gland Cancer, Gardasil 9

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