Tao Weitao, a researcher in the College of Sciences' Department of Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio is making great strides in a project that was funded one year ago by the San Antonio Area Foundation. The professor in the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases is researching Acinetobacter baumannii, a soil-dwelling bacterium that threatens the health of military personnel in the Middle East and can also infect their family members once the soldiers have returned home following battle. The symptoms of Acinetobacter infections are mild to severe and present in a variety of ways, but are mostly found in immunocompromised individuals.
Researchers with Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Department of Preventive Medicine have completed a large epidemiologic study to assess United States usage trends for antibiotic prescriptions. The study, which examined antibiotic prescription data from 1995 through 2006 to assess whether initiatives that began in the mid-1990s to curb antibiotic use have had a positive impact on prescribing, found the efforts to curb unnecessary prescriptions effective. The study, published in the Aug. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that during this period there was an overall 36 percent reduction in U.S. antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) in children younger than 5, the age group that typically has the highest rates of antibiotic utilization.
"Plague-spreading fleas are expanding their territory, putting more people at risk of catching the lethal illness, a WHO official said, " Bloomberg reports, in an article that examines the recent deaths of three people in China from the pneumonic plague. Bloomberg writes, "Centuries after bubonic plague, the most common form, killed millions in medieval Europe, the scourge remains entrenched in parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas." A combination of widening areas for the virus to circulate via rats and their fleas as well as "increased human activity in central Asia and other affected areas is heightening the risk of human infection, said Eric Bertherat, a WHO doctor who has investigated outbreaks for eight years, " the news service writes.
The first dry powder inhalable vaccine for measles is moving toward clinical trials next year in India, where the disease still sickens millions of infants and children and kills almost 200, 000 annually, according to a report presented at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Robert Sievers, Ph.D., who leads the team that developed the dry-powder vaccine, said it's a perfect fit for use in back-roads areas of developing countries. Those areas often lack the electricity for refrigeration, clean water and sterile needles needed to administer traditional liquid vaccines. "Childhood vaccines that can be inhaled and delivered directly to mucosal surfaces have the potential to offer significant advantages over injection, " Sievers said.
Key points - Levels of flu in Wales have decreased in the week ending 9 August - Current levels of flu in Wales would be considered normal in the winter - Swine flu usually leads to a mild illness although in a minority of cases it can be severe Summary - The clinical consultation rate for influenza in Wales decreased during week ending 9 August to 49.4 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100, 000 people in Wales. It was 69.9 per 100, 000 in the previous week. While there has been a decrease, this is still within the range for what would be considered normal for seasonal flu activity in the winter. - 100 laboratory confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported by NPHS Health Protection Teams in 20 LHB areas (as at 10am on 12 August).
First Human West Nile Virus Case Of 2009 - Surveillance Also Shows Increased Number Of Mosquitoes Infected With Virus
The Iowa Department of Public Health have announced the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus disease in Iowa. The case is a middle-aged woman in Clayton County who was not hospitalized. In addition to the first human case of West Nile virus, statewide surveillance indicates increased numbers of mosquitoes infected with the virus. "This human case, coupled with increased activity in mosquitoes means Iowans need to take action to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes that may carry the virus, " said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. "The West Nile virus season in Iowa typically lasts until the first frost." The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and to use insect repellent when outdoors.