Category Archives: Uncategorized

FDA Gives “Breakthrough” Status To Meningitis B Vaccine.

Fierce Pharma (4/24, Liu) reports the Food and Drug Administration gave “breakthrough” status to Pfizer’s meningitis B vaccine Trumenba. The article points out that GlaxoSmithKline’s men B vaccine Bexsero was recently given the same status as the FDA, and the two vaccines are seen as rivals.


Agent May Provide New Approach For Treating Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, Study Suggests.

The Los Angeles Times (4/25, Healy) reports a new study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York may have uncovered “a way to weaken the bacterium that causes tuberculosis and boost its vulnerability to drugs that are rapidly losing their power to cure.” Results in petri dishes show “the agent that disrupted the formation of the TB bacterium’s fatty protective coating not only delivered a lethal blow, it suppressed the bacterium’s penchant for finding a way to bounce back.” Moreover, “in mice infected with tuberculosis, exposing TB’s innards had a more subtle effect: It boosted the killing power of rifampicin, the antibiotic that is a first-line of defense against TB.” The findings were published in Science and Translational Medicine.

New Malaria Research Shows Benefit Of Mass Treatment, Methylene Blue.

CIDRAP (4/25, Schnirring) reports on two new malaria studies examining “steps that decreased the artemisinin-resistant form of the disease in Myanmar” and ways to add “more evidence to methylene blue as a potential treatment.” In the first study, accompanied by a commentary and published in The Lancet, researchers examined how “community-based malaria posts offering rapid diagnostic testing and treatment with artemether-lumefantrine plus single low-dose primaquine” decreased cases in “malaria hot spots” and that mass drug administration “led to a fivefold decrease in malaria infections.” In the second study, published in BMC Medicine, researchers found methylene blue “was consistently reported to be highly effective…though it was linked to mild urogenital and gastrointestinal symptoms.”

Many Black Men Who Could Benefit From PrEP Are Not Taking It, CDC Report Says.

The Huffington Post (4/25, Moreno) reports many black men who are vulnerable to HIV infection and who could benefit from PrEP are not taking the treatment, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC found that while 50% of the Americans “who could benefit from PrEP were black,” they only accounted for 1% of PrEP prescriptions.



March 18 Infection News

New Ebola cases in Guinea

Legionnaires’ Disease In Michigan

Michigan health officials have found a 10th fatal case of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area amid an outbreak some experts have linked to the city’s water crisis.


More news on Zika

The Lancet medical journal just published a study showing an association of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (an acute muscle weakness disease)and infected persons with Zika virus in French Polynesia. during their 2013-2014 outbreak.  We are seeing this same sydrome right now in Latin America associated with Zika virus.


Here again is the link to protecting yourself from Zika Virus.



Zika Virus

Yes microcephaly in newborn babies  in newborn babies seems to be really associated with this virus. ( a baby’s developing brain doesn’t grow properly which can cause development, neurological  and learning problems)  I would not hesitate to use insect repellent liberally if I was traveling to these areas. I am telling child bearing women to use 2 forms of birth control or better yet avoid sexual contact completely if they have have to travel to an affected area, including the Caribbean, during their stay and for several weeks after they return home as if infected the virus can be in the body for a few weeks upon return to a nonZika area. (Studies will be looking to define this period of time after the first day of infection)  In addition, the virus appears transmission by sexual contact.  Women of child bearing age should avoid sexual contact with anyone returning from an infected until they are proven to not have the infection. The CDC has developed an exceptionally good link for Zika virus information.

Information on protecting yourself from Zika virus:

Ebola should still be on our radar.

We can not stop due diligence.  Continued screening and testing is needed in our fight of this deadly disease.  Early detection in affected countries in crucial to control this disease.

A nurse, returning from Sierra Leone, was diagnosed with Ebola after returning to Italy, the first time a person has received an Ebola after returning to Italy. The patient is currently undergoing treatment in Rome.

Get a flu shot

40,000 people die every year of pneumonia and influenza in the United States.  Often bacterial  pneumonia complicates influenza.  The outcomes of both of these infections improve if you are vaccinated.  There are pneumonia and influenza vaccines available at your doctor’s office and pharmacies.  There are screening questions to ensure you don’t have a contraindication and shouldn’t get the vaccine.