The first case of yellow fever was reported in the Rio de Janeiro area last week, and plans are in place to have the entire city vaccinated by the end of the year. A commentary in The New England Journal of Medicine by Drs. Catherine Paules and Anthony Fauci of the NIH said the US could see travel-related cases of yellow fever, with "brief periods of local transmission in warmer regions."
Scientists with the US National Academy of Medicine are questioning the methodology of a 4,160-patient trial in Guinea of an Ebola vaccine developed by Merck. The scientists' report said the vaccine likely provides some protection, possibly at a low level.
A retrospective cohort study in JAMA Internal Medicine conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that the age and gender of the donor of blood transfusions had no effect on the survival of recipients. The findings were based on data from 968,264 Scandinavian patients. The methodology used -- similar to that of a large Canadian study which found an age/gender association with outcomes -- highlights "the importance of extreme caution in assessing epidemiologic analyses in this field," according to the authors.
The deadly Ebola outbreaks in Western Africa taught the global health community many lessons about the lack of preparedness to battle devastating pathogens, and one of the key lessons was the need for a ready vaccine that could stem the potential loss of lives and its effect on a country's economy, write J. Stephen Morrison and Chris Millard of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is a step in the right direction that allows governments, health practitioners and drugmakers a chance to forge partnerships to facilitate a more rapid response to future global health threats.
The rise in the number of deaths caused by hepatitis makes the disease a global health threat on the level of tuberculosis and HIV, according to a World Health Organization report. The data, presented at the International Liver Congress, showed a 22% increase in deaths resulting from chronic hepatitis B and C from 2000 to 2015, with 328 million people infected with viral hepatitis in 2015.
Marvin Smoot received transplanted tissue to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and he knows his donor was named Brian and lived in California. "The gift they gave me was the ability to play football again," said Smoot, adding that the transplant has had an impact on "everything I do in my life."
Portland Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli is recovering from knee surgery in March, hoping he can play again in the NBA and preparing to thank the family of whoever donated his transplanted ligament. "I'm actually working on my letter right now, because I really do want to meet them," said Ezeli, who is 6 feet 11 inches tall.
Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams will serve as acting surgeon general after Vivek Murthy was "relieved of his duties," according to an HHS statement. Trent-Adams has served the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps for 24 years and was chief nurse officer of the corps.
Hemoglobin levels continued to increase with ferric citrate tablets in an open-label extension of a randomized controlled trial of 81 patients with nondialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease and iron deficiency anemia. Serum ferritin levels increased by 48.2 ng/mL during the trial and 72.6 ng/mL during the extension period. The results were reported at the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings.
Women with hepatitis B who took the antiviral drug tenofovir in the second or third trimester of pregnancy had 77% lower rates of transmission of the virus to infants, researchers reported in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. The analysis was based on data from 10 studies involving 733 women.
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