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Viral Infection News

Zika Infection Shrinks Testicles in Mice

Posted 17 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Zika virus can be sexually transmitted through semen, and a new mouse study could help explain why that occurs – and how the virus might damage male fertility. In lab research, Zika attacked the testicles of mice, targeting cells that produce the male hormone testosterone and ultimately causing testes to shrink, the researchers said. These findings "explain the persistence of the virus in semen," said Dr. Amesh Adalja. "If these findings hold in humans, the long-term consequences could include diminished fertility in males who were infected with Zika," said Adalja, an affiliated scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. He was not involved in the study. Zika typically is transmitted via mosquito bites, but researchers have learned that the virus also can be transmitted through a man's semen. As a result, the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Docs More Likely to Prescribe Antibiotics If Patients Expect Them

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – Doctors are more likely to prescribe antibiotics if they think patients expect the drugs, a new study finds. That's true even if the doctor doesn't think the patient has a bacterial infection, which means antibiotics would be ineffective, the researchers said. The study included more than 400 doctors in the United Kingdom. The researchers conducted two experiments and presented physicians with different scenarios where they had to decide if they would prescribe antibiotics. Doctors were more likely to do so if patients had high expectations of receiving antibiotics. The study was published Feb. 16 in the journal Health Psychology. Improper and excessive use of antibiotics has been linked to antibiotic resistance, a major health threat worldwide. "Much effort has been spent encouraging physicians to adhere to clinical guidelines when prescribing antibiotics. ... Read more

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

Zika Lingers in Semen for Less Time Than Thought: Study

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – New research suggests the Zika virus lingers in a man's semen no longer than three months in almost all cases. Still, guidelines from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommend that infected men use condoms or abstain from sex for six months after infection with the Zika virus. Infectious disease experts said those guidelines should stay that way. "Better to err on the long end," said Matthew Aliota, an assistant scientist who studies viruses at the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine. The Zika epidemic began nearly two years ago in Brazil and has since spread around the world, causing severe birth defects in thousands of babies born to women infected with the virus during pregnancy. The most common birth defect has been microcephaly, which causes an abnormally small head and brain. More subtle sensory and neurological ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Postcoital Contraception, Viral Infection, Zika Virus Infection

Drought May Beckon Bigger West Nile Outbreaks

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – A parched climate might be the perfect environment for spreading West Nile virus, a new study suggests. Researchers examined 15 years of data on West Nile virus infections in people across the United States and found that epidemics were larger during years of drought. There were also bigger outbreaks in areas that had not experienced large epidemics of the mosquito-borne virus in the past. "We found that drought was the dominant weather variable correlated with the size of West Nile virus epidemics," study author Sara Paull, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a university news release. She is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. West Nile first appeared in North America in 1999, and since then has caused outbreaks each summer. But there has been significant variation in the severity of those ... Read more

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

New Zika Vaccine Candidate Provides Powerful Protection

Posted 3 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – A single dose of an experimental Zika vaccine protected mice and monkeys from the virus, researchers report. Following Zika virus outbreaks in Latin America and some parts of the southern United States, scientists have been trying to develop a vaccine against the virus. Several vaccines have been tested in animals, but this is the first one to show strong and long-lasting protection without the use of a live virus, the researchers said. However, animal research does not always pan out in humans. Traditional vaccines contain a weakened or killed version of the target virus or isolated viral proteins. This vaccine uses tiny strands of RNA that contain the genetic codes for making viral proteins, according to the study authors. One injection of the vaccine triggered a rapid immune response in mice and protected them from intravenous exposure to Zika two weeks ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Zika Virus Infection

Ebola Blood Test May Help Predict Survival Chances

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – A blood test may help determine a person's chance of surviving an Ebola infection, researchers say. "It is not just defining how much Ebola virus that is present in a patient that defines whether a patient will survive. How the patient fights the infection is also key," said John Connor, an associate professor of microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Figuring out common aspects of how the immune system responds in people who have survived the often-deadly infection might help researchers learn ways to keep an Ebola virus infection from being fatal, Connor said in a university news release. American and British scientists looked at blood samples from infected and surviving patients during the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The researchers identified a small number of genes whose "expression" accurately predicts survival of patients infected ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Health Tip: Feeling Under the Weather?

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Even if you're sick with a cold or the flu, don't neglect your teeth, the American Dental Association reminds us. The group offers these suggestions: Don't ever share your toothbrush, especially if you've been sick. It's usually not necessary to get a new toothbrush after you've been sick, unless you have a weak immune system or it's time to toss your brush anyway. If you're using cough drops, opt for sugar free. If you vomit, don't brush your teeth immediately afterward. Instead, swish with water or diluted mouthwash. Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth, which could harm teeth. Read more

Related support groups: Nausea/Vomiting, Vomiting, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Pseudoephedrine, Flonase, Phenylephrine, Sore Throat, Nasonex, Afrin, Nasacort, Ephedrine, Veramyst, Omnaris, Phenylpropanolamine, Oxymetazoline, Azelastine, Viral Infection, Astelin, Nasacort AQ

Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal Trials

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 – A new vaccine for genital herpes could be nearing human clinical trials, researchers say. The vaccine has proven effective in animals against herpes simplex virus 2, the sexually transmitted virus that causes genital herpes, according to a new report. The new "trivalent" vaccine targets three different parts of the virus, shutting down its ability to enter cells and to evade detection by the immune system, said senior researcher Dr. Harvey Friedman. He's a professor with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Institute for Immunology. In lab studies, the vaccine proved 98 percent effective in protecting guinea pigs against genital herpes infection, Friedman and his colleagues reported. The vaccine also promoted an immune response in monkeys, increasing the levels of antibodies targeting the virus, the study authors said. The vaccine's developers ... Read more

Related support groups: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Cold sores, Herpes Simplex - Suppression, Herpes Simplex, Zostavax, Yellow Fever Vaccine, Gardasil, Herpes Simplex Labialis, Herpes Simplex, Mucocutaneous/Immunocompromised Host, Viral Infection, Herpes Simplex, Mucocutaneous/Immunocompetent Host, Rabies Vaccine, Human Diploid Cell, FluLaval, Hepatitis B Adult Vaccine, Varicella Virus Vaccine, Rotarix, Cervarix, Smallpox Vaccine, Measles Virus Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

Debunking Winter Weather Myths

Posted 16 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 16, 2017 – A hot toddy may seem like a good way to stay toasty on a freezing day because it makes blood rush to your skin's surface. But drinking alcohol actually speeds heat loss, according to experts. That's just one common myth about winter and cold weather. Separating fact from fiction is key to avoiding cold-related complications like hypothermia and frostbite, researchers at the University of Rochester in New York said. Here's what they say you need to know: Warm clothes don't prevent viral illnesses. More than 200 germs cause the common cold. Bundling up may not help you avoid exposure to one of them. Wearing a hat is a good idea when temperatures tumble, but heat escapes from any part of your body that is exposed – not just your head. Heat loss from the head also depends on how thick your hair is and how much energy you burn in the cold. But kids lose much more ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Alcohol Dependence, Sore Throat, Alcoholism, Hangover, Viral Infection, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Health Tip: Ward Off Infections During Pregnancy

Posted 16 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Infections can be a serious threat to pregnant women and their fetuses. To help ward off infections while you're pregnant, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises: Wash your hands frequently, particularly when you've been around children. Stay away from people who are sick. Cook meat thoroughly, and skip foods made from raw milk Talk to your doctor about checking for group B streptococcus, and testing for sexually transmitted infections. Ask about any vaccinations you should get during pregnancy. Protect yourself from insect bites, which may transmit disease. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and insect repellent. Avoid contact with used cat litter, turtles, lizards, rodents or droppings from any of these animals. Talk to your doctor about any vitamins you should take, and the appropriate doses. Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial Skin Infection, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Viral Infection, Toxoplasmosis, Insect Bites, Toxoplasmosis - Prophylaxis, Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease

Parents Have Mixed Views on When to Keep Sick Kids Out of School

Posted 16 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 16, 2017 – American parents don't always agree when to keep their children home sick from school, a new poll reveals. The poll included almost 1,500 parents nationwide. All had at least one child aged 6 to 18. The research found that 75 percent had kept their child home sick from school at least once in the past year. The main reasons for keeping a child home were concerns their illness would get worse or spread to classmates. But the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health found that parents have differing views about how sick is too sick. Or the importance of sick day consequences, such as parents missing work or kids missing tests. Parents of children aged 6 to 9 were more likely to say that health-related concerns were a very important factor in keeping children home from school. Among parents of high schoolers, 40 ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Cough, Diarrhea, Fever, Bacterial Infection, Eye Conditions, Influenza, Eye Dryness/Redness, Cough and Nasal Congestion, Diarrhea, Chronic, Conjunctivitis, Viral Infection, Blepharitis, Diarrhea, Acute

Common Viruses a Deadly Threat at Nursing Homes

Posted 13 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2017 – Common viruses pose a serious threat in nursing homes, often sabotaging standard infection control measures, a new case study suggests. "Long-term care facilities have unique challenges. Infection-control policies from acute care hospitals cannot simply be mirrored in this setting and expected to work," said study lead author Dr. Schaefer Spires. His report details a 16-day outbreak of two viruses – respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) – that swept through a long-term dementia ward in Tennessee. Nearly three-quarters of the patients became sick and five died. "RSV and HMPV are viruses that need to be taken as seriously as we take the flu, especially in older adults," said Spires, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. RSV causes infections of the lungs and ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Cough, Dementia, Cold Symptoms, Alzheimer's Disease, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Sore Throat, Cough and Nasal Congestion, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Viral Infection, Respiratory Tract Disease, Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Doctors Describe First U.S. Case of Locally Acquired Zika in Pregnancy

Posted 12 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – The first case of locally acquired Zika virus in a pregnant woman in the United States did not result in devastating birth defects, doctors report. In a case study from the University of Miami, doctors provide new insight into the mosquito-borne virus, showing fetal exposure doesn't necessarily mean infection. The report also alerts doctors to suspect Zika in patients who may have traveled to south Florida, not just to areas outside the country where the virus is more prevalent. The infant – born full-term in October – showed none of the devastating birth defects linked to Zika, such as microcephaly (an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain). "Initially, everything with the baby looked fine," said Dr. Ivan Gonzalez. He is co-director of the Zika response team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where the mother and baby were ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Common Virus May Have Ties to Type 1 Diabetes

Posted 10 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017 – From Finland comes more evidence that a common group of viral infections may play a role in the development of at least some cases of type 1 diabetes. The viruses are known as enteroviruses. These viruses cause a number of infections – from the common cold to conditions as serious as polio, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study found that children who had signs indicating they might be developing type 1 diabetes had significantly more enterovirus infections occurring at least a year earlier. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. That means the body's immune system mistakenly destroys healthy insulin-producing cells called islet cells. The cells that attack the body's healthy cells are called autoantibodies, and there are specific autoantibodies for type 1 diabetes, called islet autoantibodies. These autoantibodies ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 1, Diabetes Mellitus, Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated, Kinrix, Pediarix, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis, Diphtheria Toxoid/Pertussis, Acellular/Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated/Tetanus Toxoid, Diphtheria Toxoid/hepatitis B Pediatric Vaccine/pertussis, Acellular/poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated/tetanus Toxoid, Enterovirus D68 Infection, Ipol, Diphtheria Toxoid/Haemophilus B Conjugate (Prp-T) Vaccine/Pertussis, Acellular/Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated/Tetanus Toxoid, Quadracel, Pentacel

More Than Half of Brazilian Women Avoid Pregnancy Due to Zika Fear

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – More than half of young women in Brazil are forgoing pregnancy due to the ongoing Zika epidemic, a new study finds. Since the outbreak began in Brazil, there have been 1,845 confirmed cases of birth defects tied to the mosquito-borne virus. Many involve microcephaly, a malformation where babies are born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains. The new study was led by Debora Diniz, a professor at the University of Brasilia. Her team surveyed more than 2,000 Brazilian women, aged 18 to 39, in June of this year. The result: 56 percent of the women said they had either avoided or tried to prevent a pregnancy because of the epidemic. Twenty-seven percent of the women said they had not tried to avoid pregnancy, while another 16 percent said they had not planned to get pregnant – regardless of whether Zika was a threat or not. "The results provide an ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Postcoital Contraception, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection

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