ASCLS eNewsBytes
Sep. 4, 2012

New 'Heartland' virus disovered in sick Missouri farmers
MyHealthNewsDaily via Fox News
Two men in Missouri who became severely ill after sustaining tick bites were found to be infected with a new type of virus, according to a study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Both men were admitted to hospitals after experiencing high fevers, fatigue, diarrhea and loss of appetite. They were originally thought to be suffering from a bacterial infection, but doubts arose when they didn't improve after being treated with antibiotics.More

Polymer nanoparticle overcomes anti-cancer drug resistance
In a nanotechnology two-for-one, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence have created a polymer nanoparticle that overcomes tumor resistance to the common anti-cancer agent doxorubicin and that protects the heart against drug-triggered damage, a therapy-ending side effect that limits doxorubicin's effectiveness. This novel nanoparticle incorporates both doxorubicin and curcumin, a major component of the bright yellow spice turmeric.More

Court rules controversial stem cell research is legal
NBC News
The federal government may continue to pay for controversial human embryonic stem cell research, a federal appeals court ruled. The three-judge panel says the government has correctly interpreted a law that bans the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos for research. The ruling is unlikely to put the issue to rest and one of the judges pleaded for Congress to make clear what the government should and should not be able to do.More

Once-a-day pill to treat HIV gets FDA approval
New York Daily News
A new pill to treat HIV infection – combining two previously approved drugs plus two new ones – has been approved for adults living with the virus that causes AIDS, U.S. regulators said. The single daily dose of Stribild provides a complete treatment regimen for HIV infection, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement, and is meant for people who have not already received treatment with other HIV drugs.More

Rosacea may be caused by bacteria
MyHealthNewsDaily via
Bacteria living within the mites that dwell in normal human skin may play a role in causing rosacea – a condition that turns patches of skin on the face red or bumpy, recent research suggests. About 3 percent of people have rosacea, although the condition is more common in fair-skinned people, and those with weakened immune systems. More

Slow growth in HPV shots for girls requires physician action
Medscape Medical News
Another laggardly increase in vaccination rates among adolescent girls for the cancer-causing human papillomavirus is a call for stronger recommendations by clinicians, more parental education and viewing every visit as an opportunity to vaccinate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an article published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC said that coverage rates in 2011 for HPV vaccine among adolescent girls aged 13 through 17 years stood at 53.0 percent for one or more doses and 34.8 percent for three or more doses. More

Swiss 'healer' accused of intentionally infecting 16 with HIV using acupuncture needles
The Associated Press via CBS News
An unlicensed acupuncturist in Switzerland has been accused of intentionally infecting 16 people with the HIV virus for over a decade, authorities announced. The unidentified man was indicted by a five-judge panel in Bern-Mitelland regional court on charges of intentionally spreading human disease and causing serious bodily harm, offenses that carry maximum penalties of five to 10 years respectively, said the the regional prosecutor's office in Bern, the Swiss capital.More

An integrated HIV/TB clinic in Kenya: Lessons learned
Medscape Medical News
Guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend establishing and strengthening the mechanisms for delivering integrated tuberculosis and HIV programs, preferably at the same time and location. To date, there are limited reports detailing how such integrated services can be effectively implemented in a real-world, resource-limited setting.More

Skin infections linked to contaminated tattoo ink, say the CDC, FDA
Get inked and you might get more than you bargained for, warns the CDC. The infections are caused by two non-tubercular bacterial strains, Myobacterium abscesses and Myobacterium chelonae, both of which are common in drinking water and aren't killed off by chlorine. Previous reports of infections from tattoos have found that tattoo parlors mixed powdered ink with contaminated water, but in many of the new cases it appears to be purchased undiluted ink itself that's contaminated, probably during manufacture. More

West Nile states: Which has the most cases?
Huffington Post
Health officials reported that there are now 1,590 cases of West Nile virus confirmed in humans across the United States, and 66 deaths – the most (through late August) since the mosquito-borne disease was first identified in 1999, Reuters reported. This year's unseasonably warm winter is at least partly to blame for this "alarming" jump in West Nile cases, according to The Associated Press, since the lack of freezing temperatures meant mosquitoes could breed all winter. So far, Texas is taking the brunt of it – and it may only get worse.More

Campers question Yosemite response to hantavirus
ABC News
Health officials have announced two new hantavirus victims, bringing the total number of people who contracted the deadly airborne disease at California's Yosemite National Park to six. The disease has killed two people since July, prompting park officials to close 91 tent cabins. They've also scrambled to send health advisory emails to thousands of campers who visited the cabins this summer. But given the park's previous brush with the virus, it's not clear whether officials have done enough to prevent the disease and inform guests – or whether they're spreading accurate information. More

Ugandan thief contracts Ebola virus from swiped cell phone
New York Daily News
An unlucky crook caught the Ebola virus when he swiped a cell phone from a patient battling the disease at a hospital in western Uganda, the locus of an outbreak of the deadly fever. The 40-year-old thief snuck past security at Kagadi Hospital and nabbed the device from a helpless man in the hospital's Ebola isolation ward, Uganda's Daily Monitor reported. The patient reported the theft and later died, the newspaper said.More

On Texas-Mexico border, 'tick riders' fight a little big disease
Los Angeles Times
The two cowboys knew the Red Angus calf could be trouble as soon as they spied it cowering behind a green patch of mesquite near a bluff north of the Rio Grande. The land has been closed to cattle for years, and the calf might have crossed in from Mexico where ticks carry a parasite that can kill up to 90 percent of a herd north of the border. It was up to the cowboys, federal inspectors known as "tick riders," to capture the calf and figure out where it came from.More

Study: Human, soil bacteria swap antibiotic-resistance genes
Soil bacteria and bacteria that cause human diseases have recently swapped at least seven antibiotic-resistance genes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reported in Science. According to the scientists, more studies are needed to determine how widespread this sharing is and to what extent it makes disease-causing pathogens harder to control. More

Neurologic conditions raise flu mortality risk in children
Medscape Medical News
Nearly two-thirds of children who died from underlying conditions associated with the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009 had neurologic disorders, according to results of a study conducted by scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new report is published in the journal Pediatrics.More

Drug-resistant malaria vexes health workers in Cambodia
Voice of America
A little-known battle being fought in Cambodia could have global ramifications. The fight is against drug-resistant malaria. The problem is more severe in Cambodia than anywhere else in the world, says Steven Bjorge, the World Health Organization's malaria team leader in Cambodia.More

Overtreatment is taking a harmful toll
The New York Times
When it comes to medical care, many patients and doctors believe more is better. But an epidemic of overtreatment – too many scans, too many blood tests, too many procedures – is costing the nation's health care system at least $210 billion a year, according to the Institute of Medicine, and taking a human toll in pain, emotional suffering, severe complications and even death. More