Healthcare and Technology news
44.9K views | +5 today
Follow
Healthcare and Technology news
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scoop.it!

CDC investigates deadly bacteria's link to doctors' offices

CDC investigates deadly bacteria's link to doctors' offices | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The Centers for Disease Control is raising a red flag that a potentially deadly bacteria may be lurking in your doctor's office.

The bacteria, C. difficile, is typically found in hospitals, but a study out Wednesday reports a substantial number of people contracted the bug who hadn't been in a hospital, but had recently visited the doctor or dentist.

The bacteria can cause deadly diarrhea, according to the CDC, with infections on the rise. The new report shows nearly half a million Americans infected in various locations in one year, with 15,000 deaths directly attributed to C. diff.

In a 2013 study, researchers found C. diff present in six out of seven outpatient clinics tested in Ohio, including on patients' chairs and examining tables.

The CDC is so concerned that they're starting a new study to try to assess nationally whether people are getting C. diff in doctors' offices.

"This is really an important issue. We need to understand better how people are getting C. diff," said Dr. Cliff McDonald, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC.

In the meantime, patients should wash their hands after visiting the doctor's office -- with soap and water, because alcohol-based gels don't get rid of C.diff.

Another tip: Question your doctor whenever you're prescribed an antibiotic. Powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics wipe away good bacteria in your gut that fight off the bad bacteria, which leads the way to C. diff.

Johns Hopkins safety expert Dr. Peter Pronovost recommends asking your doctor if you really need an antibiotic, if there's a less powerful one that will treat your infection, and if you're being prescribed the antibiotic for the shortest time possible.

The CDC study, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, said 150,000 people who had not been in the hospital came down with C. diff in 2011. Of those, 82% had visited a doctor's or dentist's office in the 12 weeks before their diagnosis.

The CDC is hoping its new study will help determine cause and effect, because it's possible the patients had C. diff to begin with and went to the doctor to get help. It's also possible that antibiotics prescribed during the doctor's visit, and not microbes at the doctor's office, caused the infection.

more...
You Will Feel Better's curator insight, February 26, 2015 3:56 PM

This is why PureWorks foam is an absolute necessity! 

https://youwillfeelbetter.buyygy.com/90forLifeStore/en/pureworks

4CalebWalker's curator insight, March 12, 2015 10:11 AM

CDC/ I did not realize that they investigated things that did not apply to a general population/ I agree with them taking their time to investigate and control the situation

Ashley Maddox's comment, March 12, 2015 3:00 PM
1 scoop plus 1comment =20
Scoop.it!

Is This Year's Flu Shot Any Good?

Is This Year's Flu Shot Any Good? | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Flu season is taking off in the U.S. Over the last two weeks, I’ve seen an increasing number of feverish, achey, glassy-eyed patients testing positive for influenza A, most of whom were not vaccinated. My experience tracks well with the CDC’s flu surveillance. Vaccinations were available early enough this year that I’ve been able to give shots to many patients in time. Unfortunately, the CDC is reporting that so far, this year’s vaccine is not a great match for the flu that is going around.

But what does this mean?

First, the news is not all bad. Usually, even “bad” flu vaccines provide some protection. But let’s get into some of the details.

Each year, epidemiologists follow the influenza virus as it makes its way around the globe. This surveillance has been very good over the years, but once in a while there is a gap in coverage. Most flu vaccines cover three strains* of flu, often two strains of flu A and one of flu B (there is another shot that has a second B strain). The last several years, the dominant strain has been A but there are many different types of flu A.


Influenza A types are named based on the types of proteins they carry: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). The flu pandemic in 2009 was caused by a type A(H1N1). So far this year, an A (H3) virus is winning the fight. Of the 85 samples that have been tested so far, 48% are the H3N2 included in this year’s vaccines, but the rest are similar to H3N2 subtypes that were not included in this year’s shots.

While concerning, this is not a disaster. First, very few samples have been tested so far. As the season progresses we’ll have more data to make judgements. If the current trends hold (and there’s no guarantee), the flu shot still covers nearly half the circulating viruses very well, and probably offers partial protection against the rest. Even with the “mismatch”, the flu shot still offers significant protection.

If you haven’t yet gotten your flu shot, get to it. There’s no down side, and the protection, while not perfect, might still save you weeks of misery, and perhaps even your life.



more...
No comment yet.