Tag Archives: infectious diseases

Despite progress fighting HIV, most vulnerable still at risk #ahcj15

Anna Gorman

About Anna Gorman

Anna Gorman (@AnnaGorman) is a senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News. She attended Health Journalism 2015 on an AHCJ-California Health Journalism Fellowship, which is supported by The California HealthCare Foundation.

HIV-panel

Pia Christensen/AHCJSharon Hillier, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, discusses the pre-exposure prophylaxis pill, or PrEP, which can help prevent HIV infection.

HIV prevention and treatment have undergone a revolution since the disease first appeared, but there are still barriers to reaching the most at-risk populations, HIV experts said during a session at Health Journalism 2015.

While HIV patients in 1985 had a life expectancy of at most 10 years, now they are living into old age and are more likely to die from smoking, said Brad Hare, director of HIV care and prevention at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco.

Researchers are working toward a cure and people without HIV can take a prevention pill to keep them from becoming infected. Continue reading

Tulsa health officials link hepatitis C case to oral surgeon’s office

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

CDC/ Amanda Mills

A former patient of Tulsa oral surgeon W. Scott Harrington contracted hepatitis C at his office, genetic testing has confirmed.

The case is the first documented report of patient-to-patient transmission of the hepatitis C virus associated with a dental setting in the United States, according to Oklahoma state and local health officials.

Tulsa World reporter Shannon Muchmore, who has been following the story since last spring, filed a Sept 19 story on the latest developments.

Back in March, health officials started working to test thousands of the oral surgeon’s former patients for hepatitis and HIV after an office inspection turned up lax sanitation practices and other violations of the state’s Dental Act.

Since then, more than 4,200 people have been tested at free clinics. While a total of 89 have tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B and four for HIV, health officials have stressed that those results would be typical for a random sampling of the population. Genetic testing has been necessary to trace any of the illnesses back to Harrington’s practice. Continue reading

Extensive coverage of AIDS 2012 available online

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The XIX International AIDS Conference is under way in Washington, D.C., this week.


As in past years, Kaiser Family Foundation is providing extensive coverage and webcasts from the conference. All coverage will be archived on the organization’s website. For those of you running your own websites, they have made a plethora of widgets and feeds available for other sites and blogs to display headlines and webcasts from the conference.

Speakers expected to address the conference include former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates, musician and humanitarian Elton John, actress Whoopi Goldberg and others.

HHS, CDC campaign to encourage flu vaccinations

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control are ramping up the campaign for flu vaccinations, judging by the subject lines in my e-mail.

At noon ET on Tuesday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Howard Koh, M.D., M.P.H., HHS assistant secretary for health; and Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease; will convene for a webcast about the flu season.

Schuchat, in a blog post, reminds us that this year, the CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months get vaccinated.

You might remember that H1N1 seemed to hit pregnant woman especially hard during the last flu season. So HHS joined with a number of medical organizations for a letter to pregnant women explaining that getting vaccinated is “safe during any trimester” and can protect women and their babies from the flu.

Members of AHCJ can see eight PowerPoint presentations from the CDC’s two-day influenza briefing in August, including information on how the agency tracks influenza and information about the vaccine.

Superbug: Member’s book about MRSA released

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA,” AHCJ member Maryn McKenna’s second book, has been released today. McKenna, a member of AHCJ’s board of directors, has written extensive primers about MRSA and avian and pandemic influenza for AHCJ members. She also will moderate a luncheon session, “Influenza! Lessons learned from a year of H1N1,” at Health Journalism 2010.

McKenna, an independent journalist who also wrote “Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence ServiceBeating Back the Devil, was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air this morning to talk about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Her Superbug blog keeps up with the latest news and developments about MRSA.

Study: C. diff. on the rise among children

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

A study published in the April 2010 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases finds the incidence of Clostridium difficile appears to be increasing in children. Other studies have found the diarrhea-causing bacterium is becoming “more severe and complicating many hospitalizations” among adults but this study found that “between 1997 and 2006, the rates of hospitalization for C. difficile in children nearly doubled.”

Researchers reported a low rate of C. diff. among newborns, which they say supports the concept that the bacteria does not cause disease among newborns.However, the study concludes that “In contrast, the relatively high rate of CDI-related hospitalizations among non-newborn infants indicates an urgent need for studies to determine how often C. difficile causes true disease in this population.”

Clostridium difficile Infection among Hospitalized Children, United States, 1997-2006
M.D. Zilberberg et al.

Related

CDC’s Overview of Clostridium difficile Infections
MedlinePlus information