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virus 14 articles

Powassan Virus Reported in NY County

New York health authorities confirmed that a second person in Saratoga County is infected with the Powassan virus, a rare but potentially deadly disease linked to ticks. The New York State Department of Health announced last week it suspects a third person in the same county also has contracted the Powassan virus and is expected to confirm that case. Charles Smith, the first Saratoga County resident to be infected with the virus, died June 8 from the disease. A second person infected with the Powassan virus remains hospitalized. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ... Read More

Teen dies from illness possibly caused by infected mosquito

An Arkansas teenager has died from what hospital officials believe may have been a rare virus caused by a mosquito bite. Little Rock Children’s Hospital confirmed that Coleman Pearson, 13, lost his battle with an illness he contracted earlier this month. He was being treated for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a condition that causes inflammation of the brain and leads to disorientation, seizures or coma. Pearson’s condition has not yet been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however if researchers identify the boy’s illness as EEE, it would be the first human case reported in Arkansas ... Read More

Researchers find that common antibiotics can damage DNA

Antibiotics have long been praised for wiping out bacterial infections with few side effects. But, for years, researchers have raised concerns that antibiotics were being over prescribed and overused in many cases for conditions for which they provide no benefit. The concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as a fifth of doctor’s office visits in the United States results in a prescription for antibiotics, and every child receives an average of one antibiotic prescription per year. A new study raises yet another red flag over antibiotics – it indicates they can damage DNA. Researchers conducted studies on human ... Read More

Hepatitis B vaccine recalled due to sterility issues

Vials of the hepatitis B vaccine RECOMBIVAX HB are being recalled by the manufacturer because a limited number of the vials in the lot may crack, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced. If a crack occurs, the integrity of the vial and the sterility of any product remaining in the vial could not be assured. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., issued the recall for Lot Number J001183 of RECOMBIVAX HB (Recombinant) Adult Formulation. The product was distributed only in the United States between March 12, 2013, and May 2, 2013. The company says ... Read More

CDC urges US hospitals to be on the lookout for patients with bird flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hoping to stop the H7N9 avian flu from spreading throughout the United States by asking hospitals to be on the lookout for people with flu-like symptoms who have traveled to China or have had contact with someone who has the illness. The center also issued interim guidance on the use of antiviral drugs to treat patients with the bird flu. The avian flu has infected at least 92 people in China, resulting in 17 deaths. The source of the infections has not yet been identified and there are no known instances ... Read More

FDA warns other drugs from compounding pharmacy may be contaminated

Two more drugs from the pharmacy at the center of the deadly meningitis outbreak are being investigated by health officials for possibly infecting patients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that it received reports of possible meningitis infections in three people who received different drugs manufactured by New England Compounding Center. One case is a possible meningitis infection in a patient who received a spine injection with a different steroid. The other two are heart patients who developed fungal meningitis after being treated with another drug made by the same pharmacy. To date, 15 people have died and another ... Read More

Patients who received contaminated shots for pain rush to emergency room for testing

Jim McGuire didn’t waste time going to the emergency room after his doctor called to tell him he had received a steroid shot from a contaminated batch that – to date – has killed 12 people and infected 137 others with a rare fungal meningitis. Jim wasn’t experiencing symptoms, but it can take a month or more for symptoms of the infection to appear. Investigators have learned that as many as 13,000 people in 23 states may have been exposed to the fungus. The only way for people to find out if they are at risk is to have a ... Read More

Meningitis outbreak raises questions about safety of compounding pharmacies

There are about 7,500 pharmacies in the United States that customize medications for patients, doctors and health care facilities. These compounding pharmacies take medicines from pharmaceuticals manufacturers and make them into specific dosages and strengths. They are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as drug ingredients are. Instead, oversight is left to state agencies. But a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis traced back to an injectable steroid made at a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts has raised questions about the safety of products that come from compounding pharmacies. The problem arises when these pharmacies split, repackage or mix ... Read More

Steroid possibly linked to deadly fungal meningitis outbreak

Four people have died and more may perish from an outbreak of a rare fungal meningitis that has been traced back to a specialty pharmacy that distributes a steroid injection commonly used to treat back pain. To date, 26 people in five states have been infected. The cases include 18 people in Tennessee, one in North Carolina, two in Florida, three in Virginia, and two in Maryland. Two deaths were reported in Tennessee and both Virginia and Maryland reported one death each.Investigators say it is possible the product was shipped to many more states, and that the number of people ... Read More

FDA approves new 4-in-1 pill to treat HIV

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new 4-in-1 pill to fight HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Stribild, a once-daily medication made by Gilead Sciences, was approved to treat adults with HIV who have not previously been treated for the infection. Stribild combines two already-approved antiviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, which are the active ingredients in the HIV treatment Truvada. The pill also includes the new drugs elvitegravir and cobicistat. Elvitegravir works by interfering with one of the enzymes HIV relies on to multiply. Cobicistat helps to lengthen the effect of elvitegravir. Clinical trials showed ... Read More