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Posts Tagged ‘influenza’

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January 11th, 2013

How to Make the Flu Vaccine More Popular, Warts and All

In a week that saw both our hospital’s influenza-induced bed crunch make the New York Times, and my son, mother-in-law, and me succumb to this seasonal plague despite our receiving flu shots, I have been highly attuned to all things influenza. But the focus here will be on that perennial whipping boy of preventive Infectious Diseases, [...]


September 8th, 2012

People Fear EEE and West Nile, but not Influenza — Can Someone Explain Why?

OK, here’s a quick quiz — match the viral infection with the average annual US deaths: 1.  Eastern Equine Encephalitis A.  36,000, mostly in the elderly 2.  Influenza B.  < 10, mostly in the elderly I know, it was an easy one – 1 goes with B, and 2 with A. Here’s a good reference for more [...]


January 29th, 2012

Pre-Super Sunday Scombroids

Some quick ID/HIV links while we await big guys playing the big game with a big (or at least bigger) ball. Did you see how this doctor cheated Medicaid out of more than $700,000 by prescribing HIV meds to people who didn’t have HIV? Not surprisingly, he’s going to jail. Proof that if there’s money behind [...]


January 14th, 2010

Magic Wand Destroys H1N1 — and More!

From the folks at Hammacher Schlemmer comes this extraordinary device: Tests performed by an independent antimicrobial testing laboratory showed the wand destroyed 99.98% of the H1N1 virus after a five-second exposure when held 3/4″ above the contaminated surface. Also capable of killing MRSA, mold, and dust mites, the UV-C light penetrates viral and bacterial membranes [...]


December 8th, 2009

Vancouver, Phishing Phlu Scam, Telavancin, and Cartoon

A few things to ponder as the flu activity (mercifully) declines, at least for now: Interested in evidence that HIV treatment has become staggeringly effective?  Fully 87% of patients receiving treatment in the large British Columbia cohort have an HIV RNA < 50; not only that, the incidence of HIV drug resistance has declined more [...]


November 20th, 2009

Ties Tied to Bugs

Are doctors’ neckties causing infections?  That’s the implication of this Wall Street Journal piece: The list of things to avoid during flu season includes crowded buses, hospitals and handshakes. Consider adding this: your doctor’s necktie. … A 2004 analysis of neckties worn by 42 doctors and medical staffers at the New York Hospital Medical Center [...]


September 4th, 2009

For Suspected H1N1, Get Out the N95 Masks?

So says the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for protection of health care workers: Healthcare workers (including those in non-hospital settings) who are in close contact with individuals with nH1N1 influenza or influenza-like illnesses should use fit-tested N95 respirators … Employers should ensure that the use and fit testing of N95 respirators be conducted in accordance [...]


May 3rd, 2009

H1N1! Didn’t You Used to Be Swine Flu?

At the end of last week, “swine flu” became “H1N1″.  The CDC web site explains why: This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. But further study [...]


December 23rd, 2008

Flu Resistance to Oseltamivir: The Bugs Win Again

I must admit, the recent report that 49 of the 50 H1N1 flu viruses tested by the CDC are resistant to oseltamivir caught me by surprise.  For the non-math majors among the readership, that’s a 98% resistance rate.  Yikes. Actually, the rate of resistance is so high that at first I didn’t believe it when my [...]


November 17th, 2008

Promising C diff Rx, and Google as Surveillance Tool

A few items from recent ID/HIV news: Bad enough when it happens once, relapsing C diff is one of the modern plagues for which our bag of tricks sometimes comes up woefully short.  (Anything that tests stool transplants as a therapy is pretty desperate.)  Here was some bright news on the treatment front, however:  an [...]


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Paul E. Sax, MD

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