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Viral Infection News

Prison Time Can Be Deadly … to Health

Posted 26 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Prison time can exact a deadly toll on health, new research suggests. Being behind bars puts people at greater risk for both developing certain types of cancer and dying from their disease, Canadian researchers found. "We know that people who spend time in jails and prisons in Canada are more likely to use alcohol and tobacco, as well as have infections such as HPV (human papillomavirus) and HIV, which can increase the risk of developing some types of cancer," said study author Dr. Fiona Kouyoumdjian. She is a researcher at St. Michael's Hospital and McMaster University in Toronto. For the study, the researchers followed nearly 50,000 people sentenced to jail time in Ontario in 2000. Specifically, the investigators examined how many of these inmates developed cancer and how many died from the disease over the course of 12 years. By 2012, 2.6 percent of the men ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Cancer, Hepatitis C, Smoking, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Smoking Cessation, Colorectal Cancer, Human Papilloma Virus, Cervical Cancer, Viral Infection

Do You Need an Antibiotic?

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Hoping to lessen their misery, most people would like to know whether the respiratory illness they've got could be helped by an antibiotic. The key to finding out may lie in your nose. Or, more specifically, the mucus in your nose. Researchers from Duke Health in Durham, N.C., said they've identified a group of proteins that could be used to tell if an infection is caused by a virus, which triggers cold or flu. Antibiotics can only fight bacterial infections, not viral illnesses. When detected in specific quantities in the mucus of runny noses and inflamed throats, the proteins targeted in the new study were 86 percent accurate in confirming a viral infection, the scientists said. "In the past, science has focused on identifying the pathogen someone is infected with in the blood or other sample," said study lead author Thomas Burke. He's director of technology ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Zithromax, Sulfamethoxazole, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Bactrim DS, Biaxin, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Sulfadiazine, Septra, Zithromax Z-Pak, MY-E, Z-Pak, SMZ-TMP DS, Septra DS, Sulfatrim, Cotrimoxazole, Viral Infection

Common Virus May Be Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes in Some Women

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 – A common virus may make some women more susceptible to both heart disease and type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests. Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco found normal-weight women under age 50 who were infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV) were more likely to have metabolic syndrome than their peers. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes that includes excess belly fat, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. CMV, a herpes virus, is believed to infect roughly half of the U.S. population over the age of 40. Typically there are no symptoms unless the person's immune system is weakened. Ironically, obese women infected with CMV were less likely to have metabolic syndrome than obese women not infected with the virus, the researchers found. However, obese women were ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Crohn's Disease, Insulin Resistance, Crohn's Disease - Maintenance, Pre-Diabetes, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn's Disease - Acute, Viral Infection, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection, Ulcerative Proctitis, Ischemic Heart Disease, CMV Pneumonia, CMV Retinitis, CMV Gastroenteritis

Zika Infection Shrinks Testicles in Mice

Posted 23 Feb 2017 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 17 Feb 2017 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 15 Feb 2017 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, Postcoital Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral Infection, Zika Virus Infection

Drought May Beckon Bigger West Nile Outbreaks

Posted 8 Feb 2017 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, Oxymetazoline, Azelastine, Astelin, Viral Infection, Phenylpropanolamine, 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, Smallpox Vaccine, Cervarix, Measles Virus Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Afluria

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, Alcohol Dependence, Cold Symptoms, 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

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