Infection Control

Tool Tells When to Stop Phototherapy for Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia

Key opinion leaders discuss the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on when to use phototherapy, as well as a newly developed prediction tool that quantifies a baby’s risk of rebound hyperbilirubinemia.

Novel Assay Detects Zika Virus in Less Than 15 Minutes

A newly developed assay that rapidly detects Zika virus and can be implemented in a mobile suitcase laboratory could facilitate testing of pregnant women in rural and low-resource settings.

Chicken Pox Cases Have Dropped 85% Since Implementation of 2-Dose Vaccine

  • New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show urgency of vaccination adherence.
  • Between the period 2005–2006—before the 2-dose vaccine recommendation—and 2013–2014, the overall incidence of varicella infection declined by 84.6%.
  • The largest declines were reported among children aged 5 to 9 years (89.3%) and 10 to 14 years (84.8%).

Gonorrhea Cases in the U.S. Becoming Increasingly Drug Resistant

  • Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported notifiable disease in the United States; 350,062 gonorrhea cases were reported in 2014.
  • Infection is often asymptomatic so the number of cases is very likely under reported.
  • Treatment with ceftriaxone 250mg as a single intramuscular dose plus azithromycin 1g orally is thought by CDC experts to still be effective.
  • The number of U.S. cases of gonorrhea where strains showed "decreased susceptibility" to a key antibiotic, azithromycin, increased significantly from 0.6% in 2013 to 2.5% in 2014.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Effectively Prevents HIV Infection

  • By taking tenofovir and emtricitabine daily, individuals at high risk of contracting HIV can reduce infection risk to near zero.
  • When used with condoms and other prevention methods, HIV infection risk can be virtually eliminated.
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis combines drug therapy, physical barriers, and immune-system conditioning to reduce the risk of HIV infection during exposure to the virus.
  • Numerous important studies have demonstrated the potential for this strategy to reduce HIV-infection rates.

First Time in American History: CDC Issues Travel Warning Within U.S.

According to the history travel warning from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to this area.
  • Pregnant women and their partners living in or traveling to this area should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Women and men who live in or traveled to this area and who have a pregnant sex partner should use condoms or other barriers to prevent infection every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.

First Cases of Mosquito-Borne Zika Transmission Identified in the U.S.

  • Four cases of Zika direct human infection in Miami are highly likely to have been caused by infected mosquitoes.
  • The Florida Department of Health has documented the first instances of local transmission in the continental U.S.
  • The four cases involve three men and one woman who are called “very likely” to have contracted the disease locally from Zika infected mosquitoes.

Urgent Zika Update: Florida Officials Investigating First Possible Non-Travel Related Zika Case In U.S.; First Baby Born in NYC with Zika Microcephaly

As has long been expected, we have likely witnessed the first mosquito-to-human transmission of the Zika virus within the continental U.S. Kaiser Health News has issued an urgent press release as physicians call on Congress to pass legislation to prevent the spread of the disease with the U.S.

First Female-to-Male Zika Transmission, Second Zika-Related Death Recorded in U.S.

  • Two people have now died in the U.S. from complications of Zika infection.
  • The first case of female-to-male transmission has been detected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • More than 1300 cases of Zika infection have been detected in the U.S.
  • The CDC elevated its response efforts to a Level 1 activation, the highest response level at the agency.
  • The World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
  • The virus is now widespread in nearly 50 countries throughout South America and the Caribbean and continues to spread rapidly in the Americas, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Update: Zika Bordering on Epidemic in the U.S.

  • Florida reports 10 new cases of Zika, the largest one-day announcement ever in the U.S.
  • Total case in U.S. approaches 1000.
  • No vector-borne cases yet reported in U.S.
  • Nearly 300 pregnant, Zika-infected Americans currently being monitored by the CDC.
  • Zika linked to microcephaly, seizures and spasticity, facial abnormalities, and problems with feeding and vision in newborns.
  • Disease linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome and Zika-related eye injury in adults.

Physicians Can Help Protect Patients Against Zika This Summer

  • Nearly 300 pregnant, Zika-infected Americans currently being monitored by the CDC.
  • Zika linked to microcephaly, seizures and spasticity, facial abnormalities, and problems with feeding and vision in newborns.
  • Disease linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome and Zika-related eye injury in adults.
  • Nearly 6000 cases of microcephaly have been confirmed in Brazil.

Clostridium Difficile Infection Haunts Cervical Disk Surgery Patients

  • C. difficile infection strikes patients with co-morbid conditions significantly more often.
  • Annual cost of C. difficile infection estimated at nearly $7 million.
  • Improper use of antibiotic in the perioperative period can lead to postoperative C. difficile colitis, among other negative outcomes.
  • C. difficile infection following cervical spine surgery is associated with significantly increased cost, poor outcome, and extended hospital stay.

Mortality at All-Time High: Hepatitis C Kills More Americans than Any Infectious Disease

  • According to the CDC, deaths related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection reached an all-time high in 2014.
  • HCV was the most lethal infectious disease in 2014.
  • Mortality continues to increase despite an available cure and improvements in treatment.
  • Greatest mortality rate is among people born between 1945 and 1965, many of whom do not know they are infected.

Nearly 40% of Healthcare Providers Fail Proper Hygiene

  • Health care-associated infection outbreaks have occurred in outpatient settings due to lapses in infection-prevention protocols
  • Cross-sectional survey published in the American Journal of Infection Control used medical student observers of infection prevention, hand hygiene, and injection safety in outpatient settings.
  • Of the 163 injection safety observations, only 66% of the preparations complied with all of the recommended infection-prevention steps.
  • Outpatients are a considerable risk of infection transmission do to these lapses which are easily avoided by following established protocols.

New TB Detection Test is Robust, Cost Effective

  • The U.S. death rate from tuberculosis (TB) has increased recently.
  • TB remains highly contagious and frequently lethal.
  • A number of U.S. states have seen increases in TB rates and mortality.
  • An accurate TB detection assay could considerably reduce healthcare expenditures.