Infectious Diseases

National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (NAP) – White House – March 2015

Posted on March 30, 2015. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Our Plan to Combat and Prevent Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria – White House – 27 March 2015
Refers to:
National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (NAP) – White House – March 2015

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National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” – White House – September 2014

Posted on September 22, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” – White House – September 2014

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Ensuring access to working antimicrobials – Parliament [UK] Commons Select Committee [Science and Technology] – 7 July 2014

Posted on July 11, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy | Tags: , |

Ensuring access to working antimicrobials – Parliament [UK] Commons Select Committee [Science and Technology] – 7 July 2014

Report

“Ministers must stop unnecessary use of antibiotics in healthcare and farming

The Government’s announcement of a review of the economics of antimicrobial research is a welcome step in addressing one aspect of antimicrobial resistance. However, current practice across both health and veterinary services is failing to prevent the inappropriate prescription of antibiotics. The Government needs to set clear responsibilities at all levels of the NHS and veterinary medicine to achieve better stewardship of the antimicrobial drugs vital in modern medicine, the Science and Technology Committee has warned.”

… continues on the site

 

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Infection Prevention and Control of Epidemic- and Pandemic-Prone Acute Respiratory Infections in Health Care – WHO – 2014

Posted on July 8, 2014. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases, Respiratory Medicine | Tags: , |

Infection Prevention and Control of Epidemic- and Pandemic-Prone Acute Respiratory Infections in Health Care – WHO – 2014

“Overview

This publication is an update to the World Health Organization (WHO) interim guidelines Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory diseases in health care (2007). These updated guidelines incorporate the emergency guidance given in the WHO publication Infection prevention and control during health care for confirmed, probable, or suspected cases of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection and influenza-like illness (2009). The revision was informed by both evidence that has emerged since the first edition was published and the practical lessons learnt during the influenza pandemic in 2009.

The WHO guidelines Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory infections in health care provide recommendations, best practices and principles for non-pharmacological aspects of infection prevention and control (IPC) for acute respiratory infections (ARI) in health care, with special emphasis on ARI that can present as epidemics or pandemics. The guidelines are intended to help policy-makers, administrators and health-care workers to prioritize effective IPC measures.

The document also provides guidance on the application of basic IPC precautions, such as Standard Precautions, and on the importance of maintaining appropriate IPC measures in routine circumstances to strengthen a healthcare facility’s capacity to put them into practice during outbreaks. These measures should therefore be part of the hospital’s permanent IPC strategy.”

 

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UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy – Measuring Success – 23 June 2014

Posted on June 24, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy – Measuring Success – 23 June 2014

“Antimicrobial resistance is when infections caused by microorganisms survive exposure to a drug that was supposed to kill them or stop their growth, this is a particular problem with antibiotics.

The measures agreed by the UK antimicrobial resistance strategy High Level Steering Group, taking advice from expert scientific advisory committees including the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections (ARHAI), cover 4 areas:

trends in resistance
quality of prescribing in primary and secondary healthcare settings
public and professional knowledge and understanding of antimicrobials and their appropriate use.
global security through ensuring global alignment in addressing AMR

These measures apply equally to human and animal health.”

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): information and resources

 

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Final Opinion on Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects and role in antimicrobial resistance – European Commission – 13 June 2014

Posted on June 17, 2014. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Final Opinion on Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects and role in antimicrobial resistance – European Commission – 13 June 2014

“Today, the European Commission and its non-food Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, SCENIHR, published the final opinion on “Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects and role in antimicrobial resistance”.

The aim of this opinion is to assess whether the use of nanosilver, in particular in medical care and in consumer products, could result in additional risks compared to more traditional uses of silver and whether the use of nanosilver to control bacterial growth could result in resistance of micro-organisms.

SCENIHR concludes that the widespread (and increasing) use of silver containing products implicates that both consumers and the environment are exposed to new sources of silver. Human exposure is direct (food, hand-to-mouth contact, skin) and may be life long; while in the environment silver nanoparticles may be a particularly effective delivery system for silver to organisms in soil, water and sediment and may act as sources of ionic silver over extended periods of time. Therefore, additional effects caused by widespread and long term use of silver nanoparticles cannot be ruled out.

Regarding the hazard associated with the dissemination of the resistance mechanism following the use of silver nanoparticles, more data are needed to better understand bacterial response to ionic silver and silver nanoparticles exposure.”

 

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UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy – 5 June 2014

Posted on June 6, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy – 5 June 2014

“Guidance on preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic.

These updated scientific evidence base reviews cover The Use of Antivirals in an influenza pandemic, The Impact of Mass Gatherings on an influenza pandemic, The Use of Facemasks and Respirators during an Influenza Pandemic and The Impact of school closures on an influenza pandemic. They were commissioned by the Department of Health and undertaken by Public Health England. These reviews update and supplement the previous reviews undertaken in 2011 and continue to underpin the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011.”

 

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Declaration on Antibiotic Resistance – Antibiotic Resistance Coalition – 22 May 2014

Posted on May 26, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy | Tags: |

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Principles and considerations for adding a vaccine to a national immunization programme: From decision to implementation and monitoring – WHO – April 2014

Posted on May 6, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Principles and considerations for adding a vaccine to a national immunization programme: From decision to implementation and monitoring – WHO – April 2014

ISBN: 978 92 4 150689 2

“This essential resource document reviews the principles and issues to be considered when making decisions about, planning, and implementing the introduction of a vaccine into a national immunization programme. Importantly, the document highlights ways to use the opportunity provided by the vaccine introduction to strengthen immunization and health systems. The comprehensive guidance also describes the latest references and tools related to vaccine decision-making, economic analyses, cold chain, integrated disease control and health promotion, vaccine safety, communications, monitoring, and more, and provides key URL links to many of these resources.”

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A global brief on vector-borne diseases – WHO – 2014

Posted on May 5, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

A global brief on vector-borne diseases – WHO – 2014

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Serious cross-border health threats – European Union Public Health – 29 April 2014

Posted on May 1, 2014. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Serious cross-border health threats – European Union Public Health – 29 April 2014

According to Decision 1082/2013/EU on serious cross border health threats, the EU Member States consult each other within the Health Security Committee (HSC) and in liaison with the Commission with a view to exchanging information as regards serious cross border health threats and coordinating their response.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Latest update: 29.04.2014

Statement on MERS-CoV infection advice with regard to travelling   pdf(42 KB)

Statement on advice to Health Care Workers caring for patients with confirmed or possible MERS-CoV infection  pdf(42 KB)

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Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014 – WHO – April 2014

Posted on May 1, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy | Tags: |

Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014 – WHO – April 2014

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COAG Standing Council on Health – 11 April 2014

Posted on April 14, 2014. Filed under: Health Informatics, Infectious Diseases, Research, Workforce |

COAG Standing Council on Health – 11 April 2014

Items discussed included:

Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza

20th International AIDS Conference – Melbourne from 20 to 25 July 2014

Privately Practicing Midwives

Organ Donation targets

Integrated care

Multi-jurisdiction clinical trials

Medical Intern Training

Childhood Immunisation and Family Assistance Payments

Hospital Capacity Recording in Contemporary Healthcare

A National Framework for Communicable Disease Control

eHealth Implementation

National Blood Supply

Review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) for Health Practitioners

National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner

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WHO issues its first hepatitis C treatment guidelines – 9 April 2014

Posted on April 11, 2014. Filed under: Hepatology, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

WHO issues its first hepatitis C treatment guidelines – 9 April 2014

“WHO has issued its first guidance for the treatment of hepatitis C, a chronic infection that affects an estimated 130 million to 150 million people and results in 350 000 to 500 000 deaths a year.

The publication of the “WHO Guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of persons with hepatitis C infection” coincides with the availability of more effective and safer oral hepatitis medicines, along with the promise of even more new medicines in the next few years.

“The WHO recommendations are based on a thorough review of the best and latest scientific evidence,” says Dr Stefan Wiktor, who leads WHO’s Global Hepatitis Programme. “The new guidance aims to help countries to improve treatment and care for hepatitis and thereby reduce deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis.”

WHO will be working with countries to introduce the guidelines as part of their national treatment programmes. WHO support will include assistance to make the new treatments available and consideration of all possible avenues to make them affordable for all. WHO will also assess the quality of hepatitis laboratory tests and generic forms of hepatitis medicines.”

… continues on the site

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Healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections in 2012–2013 – nhpa – National Health Performance Authority – 13 March 2014

Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections in 2012–2013 – nhpa – National Health Performance Authority – 13 March 2014

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Acute trust toolkit for the early detection, management and control of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae – Public Health England – December 2013

Posted on February 4, 2014. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Acute trust toolkit for the early detection, management and control of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae – Public Health England – December 2013

“Synopsis

This toolkit incorporates, in an updated form, the January 2011 ‘Advice on Carbapenemase Producers: Recognition, infection control and treatment’ issued jointly by Department of Health Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

This toolkit provides practical advice for clinicians, and staff at the frontline in an acute care setting (a similar toolkit is being prepared for the non-acute care setting). It also provides some basic public health risk assessment tools and advice and information for the patient.

The advice in this toolkit is applicable to both the NHS and the Independent Sector, into which many high-risk patients are admitted from outside the UK2. If the infection, prevention and control (IP&C) advice in this toolkit does not ‘fit’ your situation, IP&C teams can obtain further advice and signposting, particularly in relation to local risk assessment, through their local PHE Centre.”

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Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older: United States, 2014 – 4 February 2014

Posted on February 4, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older: United States, 2014 – 4 February 2014

Carolyn B. Bridges, MD; Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, MPH, on behalf of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices†
Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(3):190-197-197. doi:10.7326/M13-2826
U.S. Physicians’ Perspective of Adult Vaccine Delivery – 4 February 2014

Laura P. Hurley, MD, MPH; Carolyn B. Bridges, MD; Rafael Harpaz, MD, MPH; Mandy A. Allison, MD, MSPH; Sean T. O’Leary, MD; Lori A. Crane, PhD, MPH; Michaela Brtnikova, PhD; Shannon Stokley, MPH; Brenda L. Beaty, MSPH; Andrea Jimenez-Zambrano, MPH; Faruque Ahmed, PhD; Craig Hales, MD, MPH; and Allison Kempe, MD, MPH
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older: United States, 2014
Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(3):161-170-170. doi:10.7326/M13-2332

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Management of HIV infected healthcare workers performing exposure prone procedures – updated guidance – Public Health England – 30 January 2014

Posted on February 3, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Workforce |

Management of HIV infected healthcare workers performing exposure prone procedures – updated guidance – Public Health England – 30 January 2014

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Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C – new website from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America – 29 January 2014

Posted on January 31, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C – new website from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America – 29 January 2014

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Strengthening national health systems capacity to respond to future global pandemics – McMaster University Health Forum Issue Brief – 4 November 2013

Posted on January 30, 2014. Filed under: Health Mgmt Policy Planning, Health Policy, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Strengthening national health systems capacity to respond to future global pandemics – McMaster University Health Forum Issue Brief – 4 November 2013

Edge J, Gauvin FP, Hoffman SJ, Lavis JN. Issue Brief: Strengthening National Health Systems’ Capacity to Respond to Future Global Pandemics. Hamilton, Canada: McMaster Health Forum, 4 November 2013.

Extract from the Key Messages

“What’s the problem?
The challenges to strengthening national health systems’ capacity to respond to future global pandemics of infectious disease can be understood by considering six manifestations of, or contributors to, the problem:
1) pandemics challenge conventional systems of governance;
2) timely information sharing and evidence-informed decision-making is difficult;
3) domestic and international partners often encounter coordination problems;
4) public health and animal health perspectives can be difficult to reconcile when addressing emerging zoonoses;
5) antimicrobial resistance represents a growing threat; and
6) risk and protective factors for pandemics are changing.

Moreover, existing programs, health system arrangements and implementation strategies may not be optimal:
o programs and plans may limit capacity to respond to future pandemics;
o health system arrangements complicate matters; and
o some previously agreed upon courses of action have not been fully implemented.

What do we know about three elements of a comprehensive approach to address the problem?”

… continues on the site

 

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Technological Challenges in Antibiotic Discovery and Development: A Workshop Summary – National Research Council [US] – 2014

Posted on January 29, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Technological Challenges in Antibiotic Discovery and Development: A Workshop Summary – National Research Council [US] – 2014

Authors: Douglas Friedman and Joe Alper, Rapporteurs; Chemical Sciences Roundtable; Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

“Description

Technological Challenges in Antibiotic Discovery and Development is the summary of a workshop convened by the Chemical Sciences Roundtable in September 2013 to explore the current state of antibiotic discovery and examine the technology available to facilitate development. Through formal presentations and panel discussions, participants from academia, industry, federal research agencies discussed the technical challenges present and the incentives and disincentives industry faces in antibiotic development, and identified novel approaches to antibiotic discovery.

Antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing problem in modern medicine and it is emerging as a pre-eminent public health threat. Each year in the United States alone, at least two million acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die annually as a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections. In addition to the toll on human life, antibiotic-resistant infections add considerable and avoidable costs to the already overburdened U.S. health care system. This report explores the challenges in overcoming antibiotic resistance, screening for new antibiotics, and delivering them to the sites of infection in the body. The report also discusses a path forward to develop the next generation of potent antimicrobial compounds capable of once again tilting the battle against microbial pathogens in favor of humans. Technological Challenges in Antibiotic Discovery and Development gives a broad view of the landscape of antibiotic development and the technological challenges and barriers to be overcome.”

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Getting behind the curve, is the new NHS ready for pandemic flu? – Centre for Health and the Public Interest [UK] – 3 January 2014

Posted on January 10, 2014. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Influenza A(H1N1) / Swine Flu | Tags: , |

Getting behind the curve, is the new NHS ready for pandemic flu? – Centre for Health and the Public Interest [UK] – 3 January 2014

“This report finds that reforms made to the NHS following the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 have impacted upon its ability to deal effectively with a possible flu pandemic. It highlights three potential problems which the new NHS now faces in dealing with a possible pandemic. A loss of expertise, personal relationships and institutional memory in dealing with public health emergencies from within the NHS as a result of the 2012 reforms, the lack of clear accountability arrangements and a ‘clear line of sight’ under the new system and the co-ordination of increasing numbers of private providers of NHS services in a health care system underpinned by contracts.”

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Measures for the Prevention and Control of Clostridium difficile Infection – NZ Ministry of Health – 26 November 2013

Posted on December 18, 2013. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases |

Measures for the Prevention and Control of Clostridium difficile Infection – NZ Ministry of Health – 26 November 2013

“Guidance to the health care sector

Clostridium difficile infection is a growing problem in inpatient healthcare facilities and can lead to extended hospital stays, poor patient outcomes and occasionally death.

This document is a practical tool to assist care providers to follow best practice, evidence based processes for prevention, surveillance, and diagnosis.

This guidance was developed with input from the Healthcare Associated Infections Governance Group (HAIGG) whose membership extends across the health sector. The guidance draws on national and international evidence.”

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Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 – CDC – 16 September 2013

Posted on September 17, 2013. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 – CDC – 16 September 2013

“This report, Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 gives a first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs having the most impact on human health.

Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.

Antibiotic-resistant infections can happen anywhere. Data show that most happen in the general community; however, most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes.”

Press release: Untreatable: Report by CDC details today’s drug-resistant health threats Landmark report ranks threats, outlines four core actions to halt resistance

Digital Press Kit: Untreatable: Today’s Drug-Resistant Health Threats

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UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018 – 10 September 2013

Posted on September 12, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, National Health Strategies | Tags: |

UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018 – 10 September 2013

Press release

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Progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 1999 Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance – Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee – June 2013

Posted on June 11, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 1999 Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance – Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee – June 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-831-3

“Terms of Reference

1.1 On 29 November 2012, the Senate referred the following matters to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee (the committee) for report by 21 March 2013:

Progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 1999 Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR), including:
(a) examination of steps taken, their timeliness and effectiveness;
(b) where and why failures have occurred;
(c) implications of antimicrobial resistance on public health and the environment;
(d) implications for ensuring transparency, accountability and effectiveness in future management of antimicrobial resistance; and
(e) any other related matter.1

1.2 The reporting date was subsequently extended to 7 June 2013.”

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Myths and Realities About Immunisation Revealed in New Booklet – 26 May 2013

Posted on May 27, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Myths and Realities About Immunisation Revealed in New Booklet – 26 May 2013

Immunisation Myths and Realities: responding to arguments against immunisation 5th edition

 

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Vaccine safety events: managing the communications response – WHO – April 2013

Posted on April 29, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , , , |

Vaccine safety events: managing the communications response – WHO – April 2013

“Managing a country’s immunization programme requires in-depth knowledge of the technical side of vaccination. Increasingly, however, programme managers are also being asked to respond to communications issues caused by real or perceived vaccine-related events (VRE); issues for which they may not have been trained.

This manual provides practical, informative strategies and tools to help plan and manage a communications response following a VRE in a local community, at a national level, or beyond. By reading this manual, immunization programme managers will learn how to use communications strategies and tools to increase public trust and confidence in vaccines, and to minimize the negative impact of VREs.”

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Guide to tailoring immunization programmes (TIP) launched – WHO – 26 April 2013

Posted on April 29, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , |

Guide to tailoring immunization programmes (TIP) launched – WHO – 26 April 2013

“The “Guide to tailoring immunization programmes (TIP)” aims to provide proven methods and tools to assist national immunization programmes (NIPs) design targeted strategies that increase uptake of infant and childhood vaccinations. The Guide provides tools to identify susceptible populations, determine barriers to vaccination and implement evidence-based interventions.

The strategies outlined in this Guide may be used at any time to maintain high coverage rates, but may be particularly valuable when pockets of low vaccination coverage or increased susceptibility to VPDs are identified. The Guide may be used independently by Member States or implemented in conjunction with technical support from the WHO Regional Office for Europe.”

Media release on TIP

TIP infographic

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Demonstration projects for improving sexual health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth: evaluation report – AIHW – 18 April 2013

Posted on April 19, 2013. Filed under: Aboriginal TI Health, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Demonstration projects for improving sexual health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth: evaluation report – AIHW – 18 April 2013

“The Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health funded six demonstration projects aimed at improving the sexual health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people over 3 years. An evaluation of the projects by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and identified that successful sexual health programs consulted a broad range of stakeholders; engaged and developed partnerships with the community, organisations and services; were culturally appropriate and flexible in their design, delivery and implementation; and had staff who were respected by the community.”

ISBN 978-1-74249-394-7; Cat. no. IHW 81; 69pp

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Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011–12 – National Health Performance Authority – 11 April 2013

Posted on April 17, 2013. Filed under: Immunology and Allergy, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , |

Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011–12 – National Health Performance Authority – 11 April 2013

Media release: More than 70,000 Australian children are not fully immunised

Media backgrounder

 

 

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Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza: Scientific Inquiry, Communication, Controversy: Summary of a Workshop – Institute of Medicine – 2013

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Influenza A(H1N1) / Swine Flu, Research | Tags: , |

Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza: Scientific Inquiry, Communication, Controversy: Summary of a Workshop – Institute of Medicine – 2013

“When, in late 2011, it became public knowledge that two research groups had submitted for publication manuscripts that reported on their work on mammalian transmissibility of a lethal H5N1 avian influenza strain, the information caused an international debate about the appropriateness and communication of the researchers’ work, the risks associated with the work, partial or complete censorship of scientific publications, and dual-use research of concern in general.

Recognizing that the H5N1 research is only the most recent scientific activity subject to widespread attention due to safety and security concerns, on May 1, 2012, the National Research Council’s Committee on Science, Technology and Law, in conjunction with the Board on Life Sciences and the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats, convened a one-day public workshop for the purposes of 1) discussing the H5N1 controversy; 2) considering responses by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which had funded this research, the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), scientific publishers, and members of the international research community; and 3) providing a forum wherein the concerns and interests of the broader community of stakeholders, including policy makers, biosafety and biosecurity experts, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the general public might be articulated.
Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza: Scientific Enquiry, Communication, Controversy summarizes the proceedings of the workshop.”

ISBN-10: 0-309-26775-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-26775-5

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Guidance for infection control in the built environment [UK] – 26 March 2013

Posted on April 8, 2013. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Guidance for infection control in the built environment [UK] – 26 March 2013

“This guidance (HBN 00-09) discusses the various stages of a capital build project from initial concept through to post-project evaluation and highlights the major IPC issues and risks that need to be addressed at each particular stage to achieve designed-in IPC.”

 

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Diseases have no borders: Report on the inquiry into health issues across international borders – 20 March 2013

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Diseases have no borders: Report on the inquiry into health issues across international borders – 20 March 2013

Parliament of Australia. House of Representative Standing Committee on Health and Ageing

Health committee considers creation of a national centre for disease control – Media alert – 20 March 2013

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Tell Me – Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence – website

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: , , , , |

Tell Me – Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence – website

“TELL ME will establish an integrated research project involving experts in social and behavioural sciences, communication and media, health professionals at various levels and specialties and representatives of civil society organisations to develop an evidence-based behavioural and communication package to respond to major epidemic outbreaks, notably flu pandemics. The main outcomes of TELL ME will be an Integrated Communication Kit for Outbreak Communication and simulation software to assess alternative communication strategies.”

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NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare for People with Liver Disease – RightCare – March 2013

Posted on March 26, 2013. Filed under: Alcohol & Drug Dep., Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , , |

NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare for People with Liver Disease – RightCare – March 2013

“Liver Disease – a growing epidemic

Premature death from chronic liver disease is rising, largely as a result of lifestyle issues such as alcohol, drug-taking and obesity. There is significant local variation in these mortality rates, with deprivation a key factor.

During 1993-2010, there was an 88% rise in England in age-standardised mortality rate from chronic liver disease.

In 2011, the Department of Health estimated the cost of alcohol misuse to the NHS was £3.5bn. Over 24% of the population (33% of men, 16% of women) consume alcohol in a way that is potentially or actually harmful. In England, alcohol dependence affects 1m people aged 16-64 years. It is estimated that as few as 6% of these receive treatment.

Up to 10-20% of the population are potentially at some risk of developing some liver damage, while 600,000-700,000 individuals actually have a significant degree of damage.

Exposing variation

The NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare for People with Liver Disease uses data sets in the form of maps to reveal the extent of variations in services and outcomes.

This Atlas reveals widespread variation:

in the prevalence of risk factors for liver disease, including Hepatitis infection, obesity and alcohol abuse
in emergency admissions and routine treatments and operations
in the expenditure on liver disease services accross the NHS”

… continues on the site

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A framework for sexual health improvement in England – 15 March 2013

Posted on March 19, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

A framework for sexual health improvement in England – 15 March 2013

The report

 

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Pneumocystis pneumonia in the UK – Health Protection Agency – 15 March 2013

Posted on March 18, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Pneumocystis pneumonia in the UK – Health Protection Agency – 15 March 2013

Study recommends changes to pneumonia prevention strategies

“A Health Protection Agency (HPA) report published today has found since 2000 the number of cases of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) has increased in England by an average of seven per cent each year. The findings of the paper suggest that further work is needed to re-assess the prevention strategies currently in place for dealing with this infection.”

Increasing Pneumocystis Pneumonia, England, UK, 2000–2010

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A follow-up study of hygiene practices in catering premises at large scale events in the United Kingdom – Health Protection Agency – 13 March 2013

Posted on March 14, 2013. Filed under: Environmental Health, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

A follow-up study of hygiene practices in catering premises at large scale events in the United Kingdom – Health Protection Agency – 13 March 2013

“Research from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed that food, water, chopping boards, cleaning cloths and security wristbands sampled from mobile and outdoor food vendors were contaminated with a range of bacteria including E.coli. This bacteria, which originates from human or animal faeces indicates either poor hygiene, undercooking or cross-contamination in the kitchen.”

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Infections and the rise of antimicrobial resistance – Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer [NHS] – 11 March 2013

Posted on March 12, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Infections and the rise of antimicrobial resistance – Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer [NHS] – 11 March 2013

Chief Medical Officer publishes volume 2 of her annual report – 11 March, 2013

“The second volume of Professor Dame Sally Davies the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report provides a comprehensive overview of the threat of antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases.

The report highlights that, while a new infectious disease has been discovered nearly every year over the past 30 years, there have been very few new antibiotics developed leaving our armoury nearly empty as diseases evolve and become resistant to existing drugs.

In addition to encouraging development of new drugs, the report highlights that looking after the current supply of antibiotics is equally important. This means using better hygiene measures to prevent infections, prescribing fewer antibiotics and making sure they are only prescribed when needed.”

HPA welcomes move to put antibiotic resistance on the national risk register

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New CDC Vital Signs: Lethal, Drug-resistant Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Healthcare Facilities – 5 March 2013

Posted on March 6, 2013. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

New CDC Vital Signs: Lethal, Drug-resistant Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Healthcare Facilities – 5 March 2013

“Drug-resistant germs called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, are on the rise and have become more resistant to last-resort antibiotics during the past decade, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.  These bacteria are causing more hospitalized patients to get infections that, in some cases, are impossible to treat.”

… continues on the site

Making Health Care Safer: Stop Infections from Lethal CRE Germs Now – CDC Vital Signs – March 2013

“Untreatable and hard-to-treat infections from CRE germs are on the rise among patients in medical facilities. CRE germs have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics we have today. Types of CRE include KPC and NDM. By following CDC guidelines, we can halt CRE infections before they become widespread in hospitals and other medical facilities and potentially spread to otherwise healthy people outside of medical facilities.”

… continues

Media release: CDC: Action needed now to halt spread of deadly bacteria

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Audience Research: Delayers of Infant Immunisation – NZ Ministry of Health – 26 February 2013

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Audience Research: Delayers of Infant Immunisation – NZ Ministry of Health – 26 February 2013

“In November 2011, the new immunisation health target seeking to improve immunisation timeliness of young infants was introduced. The target is 95 percent of all eight-month-olds are fully immunised with three scheduled vaccinations at six weeks, three months and five months by December 2014.

To achieve this goal it is important to understand the reasons some parents delay their childs immunisation and messages that will encourage and support parents to immunise their infants on time.

The Ministry of Health commissioned qualitative audience research focusing on parents who have delayed one or more of their baby or young infant’s primary immunisations.

The findings will be used to develop cost-effective strategies that will futher make a difference to New Zealand immunisation rates and the health of New Zealand children and communities.

The research concluded that:”

… continues

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GRASP: The Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme – Health Protection Agency – 26 February 2013

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

GRASP: The Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme – Health Protection Agency – 26 February 2013

“The first Gonorrhoea Resistance Action Plan for England and Wales is published today, recommending a heightened national response to combat this serious threat. The Action Plan was developed by the Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme (GRASP), established by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to monitor the growing global problem of emerging resistance over the last decade in the absence of new therapeutic options.”

… continues

 

 

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Culture of Resistance: Australia’s response to the inappropriate use of antimicrobials – The Australia Institute – 15 February 2013

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Culture of Resistance: Australia’s response to the inappropriate use of antimicrobials – The Australia Institute – 15 February 2013

“This paper looks at how Australian governments have responded to anti-microbial resistance (AMR) since the problem became evident in the 1980s.

Of particular importance in Australia’s response was the 1999 establishment of the Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR), which was set up to provide independent expert scientific advice on the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria to human health by the selective effect of agricultural use and medical overuse of antibiotics.

JETACAR report provided a ‘five point plan’ covering regulation, monitoring and surveillance, infection prevention, education and research – the basics of which were equally applicable to human and veterinary medicine.
The government generally accepted the recommendations of the report, stating that there was international concern about AMR and that Australia needed to respond with strategies that were “consistent with and complementary to global initiatives”.

Initially there appeared to be strong commitment to implementing the recommendations of the 1999 JETACAR report, but many initiatives failed to result in any comprehensive systematic response to the issue. Committees, taskforces and groups were set up but disbanded, strategies were developed but not implemented, pilot programs failed to be anything other than pilot programs; undertakings were not carried out.”

ISSN 1836-9014

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A literature review on effective risk communication for the prevention and control of communicable diseases in Europe Insights into health communication: technical report – European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – January 2013

Posted on February 21, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

A literature review on effective risk communication for the prevention and control of communicable diseases in Europe Insights into health communication: technical report – European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – January 2013

Infanti J, Sixsmith J, Barry MM, Núñez-Córdoba J, Oroviogoicoechea-Ortega C, Guillén-Grima F. A literature review on effective risk communication for the prevention and control of communicable diseases in Europe. Stockholm: ECDC; 2013.

ISBN 978-92-9193-395-2
doi 10.2900/64747

“This review examines the current body of literature on risk communication related to communicable diseases, focusing on: (i) definitions and theories of risk communication; (ii) methodologies, tools and guidelines for risk communication research, policy and implementation; and (iii) implications, insights and key lessons learned from the application of risk communication principles in real-world settings.”

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Australian hospital statistics 2011-12: Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals – AIHW – 22 January 2013

Posted on January 24, 2013. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases, Patient Safety | Tags: |

Australian hospital statistics 2011-12: Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals – AIHW – 22 January 2013

“In 2011-12, all states and territories had rates of hospital-associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) below the national benchmark, with rates ranging from 0.7 to 1.3 cases per 10,000 patient days. There were 1,734 cases of hospital-associated SAB reported for Australia, which occurred during approximately 18.5 million days of patient care.”

ISSN 1036-613X; ISBN 978-1-74249-395-4; Cat. no. HSE 129

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Global Risks 2013 – Eighth Edition – World Economic Forum – January 2013

Posted on January 23, 2013. Filed under: Aged Care / Geriatrics, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , |

Global Risks 2013 – Eighth Edition – World Economic Forum – January 2013

Includes a section on – The Dangers of Hubris on Human Health

“Health is a critical system that is constantly being challenged, be it by emerging pandemics or chronic illnesses. Scientific discoveries and emerging technologies allow us to face such challenges, but the medical successes of the past century may also be creating a false sense of security. Arguably, one of the most effective and common means to protect human life – the use of antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds (antibiotics) – may no longer be readily available in the near future. Every dose of antibiotics creates selective evolutionary pressures, as some bacteria survive to pass on the genetic mutations that enabled them to do so. Until now, new antibiotics have been developed to replace older, increasingly ineffective ones. However, human innovation may no longer be outpacing bacterial mutation. None of the new drugs currently in the development pipeline may be effective against certain new mutations of killer bacteria that could turn into a pandemic. Are there ways to stimulate the development of new antibiotics as well as align incentives to prevent their overuse, or are we in danger of returning to a pre-antibiotic era in which a scratch could be potentially fatal?”

and on the  Costs of Living Longer

“We are getting better at keeping people alive for longer. Are we setting up a future society struggling to cope with a mass of arthritic, demented and, above all, expensive, elderly who are in need of long term care and palliative solutions?”

ISBN: 92-95044-50-9
978-92-95044-50-0

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Sustaining the drive to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases – WHO – 16 January 2013

Posted on January 21, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Sustaining the drive to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases – WHO – 16 January 2013

“WHO reports unprecedented progress against 17 neglected tropical diseases*, thanks to a new global strategy, a regular supply of quality assured, cost-effective medicines and support from global partners. The report Sustaining the drive to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases reveals new momentum has shifted the world closer to the elimination of many of these conditions that take their greatest toll amongst the poor.

Report charts progress against NTDs and sets new targets”

… continues

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Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies – Institute of Medicine – 16 January 2013

Posted on January 17, 2013. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , , |

Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies – Institute of Medicine – 16 January 2013

“Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans today have no firsthand experience with such devastating illnesses as polio or diphtheria. Health care providers who vaccinate young children follow a schedule prepared by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Under the current schedule, children younger than six may receive as many as 24 immunizations by their second birthday. New vaccines undergo rigorous testing prior to receiving FDA approval; however, like all medicines and medical interventions, vaccines carry some risk.

Driven largely by concerns about potential side effects, there has been a shift in some parents’ attitudes toward the child immunization schedule. HHS asked the IOM to identify research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could address questions about the safety of the current schedule.

This report is the most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date. The IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. Should signals arise that there may be need for investigation, however, the report offers a framework for conducting safety research using existing or new data collection systems.”

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Hepatitis C: a projection of the healthcare and economic burden in the UK – RAND – January 2013

Posted on January 14, 2013. Filed under: Health Economics, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Hepatitis C: a projection of the healthcare and economic burden in the UK – RAND – January 2013

“Work presented in this report sought to assess the healthcare and economic burden of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the United Kingdom. It used a cohort simulation model to estimate the prevalence of HCV infection in the UK, including the number of persons who live with HCV infection at different disease stages, and the number of deaths that can be attributed to HCV infection through to 2035. It further assessed the healthcare and societal costs that are associated with HCV infection under different scenarios of diagnosis and treatment rates.”

 TR-1307-HCT

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Standards of care for people living with HIV in 2013 – British HIV Association

Posted on January 4, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Standards of care for people living with HIV in 2013 – British HIV Association

“The British HIV Association (BHIVA), working in partnership with care providers, professional associations, commissioners and people living with HIV, has produced a set of quality standards for the care of people with HIV in the UK.

They cover 12 key themes, prioritised as being the most important issues for the care of people with HIV. Derived from the best available evidence, the Standards focus on aspects of care that have particular relevance for delivering equitable high-quality services that secure the best possible outcomes for people with HIV.”

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The Science of Immunisation: questions and answers – Australian Academy of Science – 26 November 2012

Posted on November 27, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

The Science of Immunisation: questions and answers – Australian Academy of Science – 26 November 2012

“Endorsed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Medical Association

This publication aims to address confusion created by contradictory information in the public domain. It sets out to explain the current situation in immunisation science, including where there is consensus in the scientific community and where uncertainties exist. The document is structured around six questions:

1.What is immunisation?
2.What is in a vaccine?
3.Who benefits from vaccines?
4.Are vaccines safe?
5.How are vaccines shown to be safe?
6.What does the future hold for vaccination?

The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers was prepared by a Working Group of eight members, co-chaired by Professors Tony Basten AO FAA FTSE and Ian Frazer AC FAA FRS FTSE. The document was also reviewed by an Oversight Committee chaired by Sir Gus Nossal AO CBE FAA FRS FTSE.”

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Toolkit for Reduction of Clostridium difficile Infections Through Antimicrobial Stewardship – AHRQ – September 2012

Posted on November 9, 2012. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Toolkit for Reduction of Clostridium difficile Infections Through Antimicrobial Stewardship – AHRQ – September 2012

AHRQ = Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Evaluation and Research on Antimicrobial Stewardship’s Effect on Clostridium difficile (ERASE C. difficile) Project

“Clostridium difficile infection (C. difficile) is a serious public health problem that has recently increased in both incidence and severity. Taking steps to reduce C. difficile is a major health and public health imperative. Antimicrobial stewardship targeted to C. difficile reduction shows promise, because increased rates of C. difficile are associated with inappropriate antibiotic use. An antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) is a systematic approach to developing coordinated interventions to reduce overuse and inappropriate selection of antibiotics, and to achieve optimal outcomes for patients in cost-efficient ways. This toolkit assists hospital staff and leadership in developing an effective ASP with the potential to reduce C. difficile.”

Toolkit for Reduction of Clostridium difficile Infections Through Antimicrobial Stewardship. (Prepared by the Boston University School of Public Health, under AHRQ ACTION Contract No. HHSA290200600012i TO10.) AHRQ Publication No. 12-0082-EF, September 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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Procalcitonin-Guided Antibiotic Therapy – AHRQ [US] – 5 October 2012

Posted on November 2, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy | Tags: , , |

Procalcitonin-Guided Antibiotic Therapy – AHRQ [US] – 5 October 2012

Full text

Soni NJ, Samson DJ, Galaydick JL, Vats V, Pitrak DL, Aronson N. Procalcitonin-Guided Antibiotic Therapy. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 78. (Prepared by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10058-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 12(13)-EHC124-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. October 2012.

“Structured Abstract

Objectives. To systematically review comparative studies of the use of procalcitonin in the clinical management of adult and pediatric patients with suspected local or systemic infection.

Data sources. MEDLINE®, Embase®, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, National Institute for Clinical Excellence, the National Guideline Clearinghouse, and the Health Technology Assessment Programme were searched from January 1, 1990, to December 16, 2011; the MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane searches were updated in December 2011. A search of the gray literature included databases with regulatory information, clinical trial registries, abstracts and conference papers, grants and federally funded research, and information from manufacturers.

Review methods. We sought studies that compared procalcitonin-guided versus clinical-criteria-guided initiation, discontinuation, or change of antibiotic therapy. Outcomes were antibiotic use, mortality, morbidity, and adverse drug events of antibiotic therapy. Data were abstracted by a single reviewer and fact-checked by a second reviewer. Study quality was assessed using the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force framework. A meta-analysis on short-term mortality in intensive care unit (ICU) patients was performed using a random-effects model. Strength of the body of evidence was assessed according to the AHRQ Methods Guide.

Results. There were 18 randomized, controlled trials that addressed five patient populations. Procalcitonin guidance reduces antibiotic use when used to discontinue antibiotics in adult ICU patients and to initiate or discontinue antibiotics in patients with respiratory tract infections (high evidence), without increasing morbidity (moderate evidence) and mortality (low evidence). In contrast, procalcitonin-guided intensification of antibiotics in adult ICU patients increases morbidity (moderate evidence). There is moderate evidence from a single good quality study that procalcitonin guidance reduces antibiotic use for suspected early neonatal sepsis, but insufficient evidence on morbidity and mortality outcomes was found. Evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions on outcomes of procalcitonin guidance for: (1) fever of unknown source in children 1–36 months of age; and (2) preemptive antibiotics after surgery.
Immunocompromised hosts and other special populations were generally excluded from procalcitonin guidance studies. Thus, findings from this review should not be extrapolated to patients with the following conditions: pregnancy; absolute neutropenia; immunocompromised states; chronic infections, and infections for which prolonged antibiotic therapy is standard of care (e.g., infective endocarditis).

Conclusions. Procalcitonin guidance reduces antibiotic use when used to discontinue antibiotics in adult ICU patients and to initiate or discontinue antibiotics in patients with respiratory tract infections. Populations for future research include immunocompromised patients, patients with other conditions (e.g., pregnancy, cystic fibrosis), and pediatric patients. Future research should compare procalcitonin guidance with antibiotic stewardship programs and to implementation of guidelines. Outcomes of high interest for future research are the consequences of reduction in antibiotic use for antibiotic resistance and for adverse events of antibiotic therapy.”

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WHO Global tuberculosis report 2012 – 17 October 2012

Posted on October 23, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

WHO Global tuberculosis report 2012 – 17 October 2012

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The Hygiene Hypothesis and its implications for home hygiene, lifestyle and public health – International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene – September 2012

Posted on October 23, 2012. Filed under: Immunology and Allergy, Infection Control, Infectious Diseases, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

The Hygiene Hypothesis and its implications for home hygiene, lifestyle and public health – International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene – September 2012

Rosalind Stanwell Smith, Sally F. Bloomfield, Graham A. Rook

Extract from the summary

“During the late 20th century, increasing levels of allergic disorders [atopy] prompted much research and debate about possible causes. The predominant explanation, postulated as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ by Strachan in 1989, implicated smaller family sizes, higher standards of cleanliness, and presumed less contact with childhood infections. The idea was widely taken up by the media as the engaging notion that developed societies have become ‘too clean’. The concept of modern life being cleaner than is good for us was always an over-simplification and misinterpretation of informed medical or scientific opinion, but as a simple idea to grasp in a very complicated story, it has remained very persistent. Possibly its continued popular repetition relates to a general disquiet about many of the changes that have occurred in human society. It has taken only a century or so to transform our societies from mainly rural communities to urban concrete and plastic environments, with cleaner water and safer sanitation. Our home and working environments, diet and other aspects of lifestyle have changed beyond recognition in a very short time. The concept of the hygiene hypothesis has now been extended to the increase in other chronic inflammatory diseases (CIDs), including autoimmune diseases such as type1 diabetes (T1D) and multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and some cancers.

We previously reviewed the research associated with the hygiene hypothesis in 2004, concluding that ‘microbial hypothesis’ would be a better name, since the reference to hygiene in the term gave inappropriate emphasis to the ‘too clean’ notion, which was not supported by evidence of continuing infection threats in the home and elsewhere, or by evidence that modern domestic and personal cleaning habits had reduced microbial exposure. This updated review is necessary because of new research and analysis, such as the extension of variants of the hygiene hypothesis to the larger group of CIDs and also to a wider range of postulated causes. While contemporary microbial exposure is no longer the sole focus of such research, an update is also needed regarding the implications for preventing invasive infectious disease by hygiene practices. The continued reference to ‘hygiene’ as a possible cause of allergy or other disease is confusing and potentially dangerous, if it makes people ignore the consequences of poor food hygiene, lack of hand washing and cleaning to remove possible pathogens from our homes and other environments.

This updated review further examines the evidence for changed microbial exposure, or the lack of it, as a cause for allergy and the chronic inflammatory diseases that have increased in recent decades.”
… continues on the site

ABC Health Report on this

“A new report released in the UK from the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene dismantles the myth of the hygiene hypothesis, that the rise in allergies and asthma in recent years has happened because we’re living in sterile homes and are overdoing hygiene.”

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Can inter-sectoral collaboration improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health? – Human Resources for Health Knowledge Hub, University of NSW – 2012

Posted on October 23, 2012. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Can inter-sectoral collaboration improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health? – Human Resources for Health Knowledge Hub, University of NSW – 2012

Alexandra Girdwood, Shanti Raman, Rachel Nicholls
9780733431616 (pbk.)

Questions addressed in this discussion paper:

ƒ Does inter-sectoral collaboration (ISC) improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH)?
ƒ How is effectiveness of ISC measured?
ƒ Why is collaboration functioning an important part of measuring effectiveness?

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New Queen’s University Belfast plasma jet gives ‘cold’ shoulder to superbugs – 3 October 2012

Posted on October 5, 2012. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases |

New Queen’s University Belfast plasma jet gives ‘cold’ shoulder to superbugs – 3 October 2012

“Scientists at Queen’s have developed a new technique which has the potential to kill off hospital superbugs like C. difficile and MRSA.

As revealed in the most recent edition of leading journal PloS One, the novel method uses a cold plasma jet to rapidly penetrate dense bacterial structures known as biofilms which bind bacteria together and make them resistant to conventional chemical approaches.

The new approach developed by scientists in the School of Mathematics and Physics and the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s passes electrical currents through flowing gas mixtures to create a wide variety of reactive species. These then effectively penetrate biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and MRSA and rapidly kill the bacteria within.

Currently antibiotics and disinfectants are used to target bugs in hospitals like C. difficile and MRSA. Effective in killing individual bacteria, they are often ineffective against complex organised communities of bacteria.”

… continues

Media report: Belfast university team to target superbugs like pseudomonas – BBC – 3 October 2012

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Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases – A roadmap for implementation – WHO – 2012

Posted on September 27, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases – A roadmap for implementation – WHO – 2012

WHO Director-General addresses health officials in the Western Pacific – Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health – 24 September Organization – 2012

Seven neglected tropical diseases set for elimination – WHO – 26 September 2012

“HANOI, 26 September 2012—The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a road map to help countries in the Western Pacific Region banish neglected tropical diseases to the pages of history.”

… continues

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Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012 – Health Protection Agency – 11 September 2012

Posted on September 25, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012 – Health Protection Agency – 11 September 2012

“The study, Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012, is an extensive update of earlier reports published by the Department of Health and the report is also being presented at the HPA’s annual conference – Health Protection 2012 – at the University of Warwick today.

Alongside a more detailed look at the effect of temperature rises on death rates in hot and cold spells, the scientists also investigated the effects a changing climate will have on pollen production, outdoor and indoor air pollution, floods, ultraviolet radiation, food, water and insect-borne diseases.”

… continues

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Acute respiratory illness associated with a new virus identified in the UK – Health Protection Agency – 23 September 2012

Posted on September 25, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Novel coronavirus infection – update – WHO – 25 September 2012

Acute respiratory illness associated with a new virus identified in the UK  – Health Protection Agency – 23 September 2012

Novel Coronavirus infection in the United Kingdom – WHO – 23 September 2012

Images of the new coronavirus – WHO

New ‘Sars-like’ coronavirus identified by UK officials – BBC – 24 September 2012

How threatening is the new coronavirus? – BBC – 24 September 2012

New Coronavirus Revives SARS Memories

Outbreak of new coronavirus – same family as SARS – has WHO on alert

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Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach – Workshop Summary – Institute of Medicine – 10 September 2012

Posted on September 11, 2012. Filed under: Dietetics, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach – Workshop Summary – Institute of Medicine – 10 September 2012

Full text

“Globalization of the food supply has created conditions favorable for the emergence, reemergence, and spread of food-borne pathogens—compounding the challenge of anticipating, detecting, and effectively responding to food-borne threats to health. In the United States, food-borne agents affect 1 out of 6 individuals and cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year. This figure likely represents just the tip of the iceberg, because it fails to account for the broad array of food-borne illnesses or for their wide-ranging repercussions for consumers, government, and the food industry—both domestically and internationally. A One Health approach to food safety may hold the promise of harnessing and integrating the expertise and resources from across the spectrum of multiple health domains including the human and veterinary medical and plant pathology communities with those of the wildlife and aquatic health and ecology communities.

The IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop on December 13 and 14, 2011 that examined issues critical to the protection of the nation’s food supply. The workshop explored existing knowledge and unanswered questions on the nature and extent of food-borne threats to health. Participants discussed the globalization of the U.S. food supply and the burden of illness associated with foodborne threats to health; considered the spectrum of food-borne threats as well as illustrative case studies; reviewed existing research, policies, and practices to prevent and mitigate foodborne threats; and, identified opportunities to reduce future threats to the nation’s food supply through the use of a “One Health” approach to food safety. This document summarizes the workshop.”

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The strategic use of antiretrovirals to help end the HIV epidemic – WHO – 18 July 2012

Posted on July 19, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

The strategic use of antiretrovirals to help end the HIV epidemic – WHO – 18 July 2012

“Overview

The paper does not in itself constitute a WHO guidance document, even though it summarizes existing WHO guidelines related to antiretroviral (ARV) use, highlights progress in the Treatment 2.0 initiative, and outlines the next steps in WHO’s normative work related to ARV use. The report is organized as follows:

Section 1: Executive summary
Section 2: Big achievements and huge opportunities
Section 3: Using antiretrovirals strategically and effectively: An incremental approach
Section 4: Making the most of the new opportunities
Section 5: Moving forward: WHO’s strategic approaches
Section 6: Conclusions”

Media release: ‘Strategic use’ of HIV medicines could help end transmission of virus

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WHO HIV drug resistance report 2012 – 18 July 2012

Posted on July 19, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy | Tags: , |

WHO HIV drug resistance report 2012 – 18 July 2012

ISBN: 978 92 4 150393 8

“Overview

This report assesses the general levels of transmitted and acquired drug resistance in select geographical areas of low- and middle-income countries. It is based on two distinct data sources: surveys performed to assess transmitted and acquired drug resistance using standardized WHO methods (WHO surveys) and a broad systematic review of the published literature on transmitted and acquired drug resistance. Findings from the monitoring of early warning indicators of HIV drug resistance are also presented and discussed. This report is organized as follows.”

… continues on the site

Media release: WHO: HIV drug resistance is present but can be managed

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Severe complications of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) caused by EV-71 in Cambodia – conclusion of the joint investigation – WHO – 13 July 2012

Posted on July 17, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Severe complications of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) caused by EV-71 in Cambodia – conclusion of the joint investigation – WHO – 13 July 2012

“The investigation into the illnesses and deaths in Cambodia, which mainly affected very young children, concluded that a severe form of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) was the cause in the majority of cases reported to the Ministry of Health.

Samples from a total of 31 patients were obtained and tested for a number of pathogens by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. Most of these samples tested positive for enterovirus 71 (EV-71) which causes HFMD. A small proportion of samples also tested positive for other pathogens including Haemophilus Influenzae type B and Streptococcus suis. It was not possible to test all the patients as some of them died before appropriate samples could be taken.”

… continues

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Undiagnosed illness in Cambodia – WHO Global Alert and Response – 4 July 2012

Posted on July 5, 2012. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Undiagnosed illness in Cambodia – WHO Global Alert and Response – 4 July 2012

“The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia has notified WHO of an outbreak of an undiagnosed illness which has affected 62 children, of which 61 have died since April 2012.

The majority of cases were from the southern part of the country, and were hospitalised in a children’s hospital in Phnom Penh. The symptoms observed are high fever, followed by respiratory and/or neurologic symptoms with rapid deterioration of respiratory functions.

WHO is working with the Ministry and other partners to investigate the outbreak, to identify the cause and source of the illness. Assistance is being provided in the area of field epidemiology and active case finding.”

More
http://www.geostrategicforecasting.com/proedr-undiagnosed-illness-fatal-child/

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/whats-killing-cambodias-children/

http://www.promedmail.org/direct.php?id=20120704.1190037

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Pandemic influenza: Guidance on the management of death certification and cremation certification in a pandemic [UK] – 25 June 2012

Posted on June 26, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Pandemic influenza: Guidance on the management of death certification and cremation certification in a pandemic [UK] – 25 June 2012

“This updated guidance document proposes changes to the procedures for death and cremation certification that could be used in a severe influenza pandemic. It would enable doctors to spend as much time as possible on the care of the living and to ensure that processes for death and cremation certification can be managed as effectively as possible during a pandemic.”

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Sexually transmitted infections in England, 2011 – Health Protection Agency – 31 May 2012

Posted on June 1, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Sexually transmitted infections in England, 2011 – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 31 May 2012

Media release:  New data show sexually transmitted infection diagnoses on the rise in England – 31 May 2012

“Figures released today by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show new sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses rose by two per cent in England in 2011, with nearly 427,000 new cases, reversing the small decline observed the previous year. Young heterosexual adults (15-24 years) and men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the groups at highest risk.”

… continues

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Public Engagement on Facilitating Access to Antiviral Medications and Information in an Influenza Pandemic – Workshop Series Summary – Institute of Medicine – 17 May 2012

Posted on May 18, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , |

Public Engagement on Facilitating Access to Antiviral Medications and Information in an Influenza Pandemic – Workshop Series Summary – Institute of Medicine – 17 May 2012

full text

“Influenza pandemics overwhelm health care systems with thousands or hundreds of thousands of sick patients, as well as those worried they may be sick. In order to ensure a successful response to the patient swell caused by a pandemic, robust planning is essential to prepare for challenges public health officials may face. This includes the need to quickly distribute and dispense antiviral medications that can reduce the severity and duration of disease to large numbers of people.

In response to a request from the CDC, the IOM’s Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events held a series of workshops that explored the public’s perception of how to facilitate access to antiviral medications and treatment during an influenza pandemic. To help inform potential strategies still in the development stages at the CDC, workshops were held in Fort Benton, Montana; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Los Angeles, California; during February and March 2012 to consider the usefulness of several alternative strategies of delivering antiviral medication to the public. Participants considered how the normal systems for prescribing and dispensing antiviral medications could be adjusted to ensure that the public has quick, safe, and equitable access to both potentially life-saving drugs and information about the pandemic and treatment options. This document summarizes the workshops.”

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Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Framework – Phase I: Demonstration of Concept and a Software Blueprint – Institute of Medicine – 10 May 2012

Posted on May 11, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Framework – Phase I: Demonstration of Concept and a Software Blueprint – Institute of Medicine – 10 May 2012

Full text

“As a number of diseases emerge or reemerge, thus stimulating new vaccine development opportunities to help prevent those diseases, it can be especially difficult for decision makers to know where to invest their limited resources. Therefore, it is increasingly important for decision makers to have the tools that can assist and inform their vaccine prioritization efforts.

In this first phase report, the IOM offers a framework and proof of concept to account for various factors influencing vaccine prioritization—demographic, economic, health, scientific, business, programmatic, social, policy factors and public concerns. Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Framework describes a decision-support model and the blueprint of software—called Strategic Multi-Attribute Ranking Tool for Vaccines or SMART Vaccines. SMART Vaccines should be of help to decision makers. SMART Vaccines Beta is not available for public use, but SMART Vaccines 1.0 is expected to be released at the end of the second phase of this study, when it will be fully operational and capable of guiding discussions about prioritizing the development and introduction of new vaccines.”

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Facing the Reality of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Challenges and Potential Solutions in India – Summary of a Joint Workshop by the Institute of Medicine, the Indian National Science Academy, and the Indian Council of Medical Research – IOM – 27 April 2012

Posted on April 30, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy | Tags: |

Facing the Reality of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Challenges and Potential Solutions in India – Summary of a Joint Workshop by the Institute of Medicine, the Indian National Science Academy, and the Indian Council of Medical Research – IOM – 27 April 2012

“An estimated 8.8 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) in 2010 and 1.4 million died from the disease. Although antibiotics to treat TB were developed in the 1950s and are effective against a majority of TB cases, resistance to these antibiotics has emerged over the years, resulting in the growing spread of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB. Due to challenges in timely and accurate diagnosis of drug-resistant TB, length and tolerability of treatment regimens, and expense of second-line anti-TB drugs, effectively controlling the disease requires complex public health interventions.

The IOM Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation held three international workshops to gather information from local experts around the world on the threat of drug resistant TB and how the challenges it presents can be met. Workshops were held in South Africa and Russia in 2010. The third workshop was held April 18-19, 2011, in New Delhi, India, in collaboration with the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Council of Medical Research. The aim of the workshop was to highlight key challenges to controlling the spread of drug-resistant strains of TB in India and to discuss strategies for advancing and integrating local and international efforts to prevent and treat drug-resistant TB. This document summarizes the workshop.”

Full text

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Health and Social Care Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response – NHS – April 2012

Posted on April 23, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Health and Social Care Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response – NHS – April 2012

“This document provides guidance on operational aspects of pandemic response in the health and social care sectors. It should be read in conjunction with the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011. It reflects key changes set out in the strategy, incorporating lessons identified from the H1N1 (2009) influenza pandemic.”

It should be read together with the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011.

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Technical guidance issued for healthcare providers on managing Pseudomonas – [UK] – 30 March, 2012

Posted on April 2, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health, Infection Control, Infectious Diseases |

Technical guidance issued for healthcare providers on managing Pseudomonas – [UK] – 30 March, 2012

“Further to guidance issued in February by the Chief Medical Officer  additional best practice technical guidance is being published today.

The guidance is aimed at those healthcare organisations providing patient care in augmented care units, such as paediatric and adult critical care, neonatal and burns units and provides advice for health care providers on:

assessing the risk to patients if water systems become contaminated with P. aeruginosa or other opportunistic pathogens;

what actions to take if water systems become contaminated with P. aeruginosa;

protocols for sampling, testing and monitoring water for P. aeruginosa: and

developing local water safety plans.

The guidance encourages healthcare organisations to develop a local plan for risk assessing augmented care units by June 2012 with appropriate water sampling by the end of 2012.

Read the guidance: Water sources and potential Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination of taps and water systems – Advice for augmented care unit

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Simple Screening. A research report into the long term attitudes of UK young adults towards Chlamydia screening communications methods and locations. A report by MindMetre – March 2012

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Simple Screening. A research report into the long term attitudes of UK young adults towards Chlamydia screening communications methods and locations. A report by MindMetre – March 2012

“Executive summary
Chlamydia, also known as the ‘silent’ disease due to the lack of symptoms in over 50% of men and 70% of women1, has become the most commonly diagnosed STI in the UK2. Young people under 25 are the most likely to get infected, with 65% of all new Chlamydia diagnoses in 2008 made to people between 16 and 24 years old3. The National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP), now in its ninth year, has driven an almost 100% increase in testing levels for 15-24 year olds in England, which grew from 18,000 in 2003/04 to just under 1.8 million in 2010/11. However, in spite of these massive efforts, in 2010/11 the programme still fell ten per cent short of its target of screening 35% of 15 to 24 year olds4.

In order to adequately measure the prevalence of Chlamydia in the population and increase the programme’s efficiency, the number of tests carried out needs to grow. This report highlights that in order to achieve proposed testing levels, awareness needs to be raised among the target age group through channels that they are truly receptive to. At present, despite the success of the NCSP, screening rates among 15 to 24 year olds remains too low. One obstacle may be the unwillingness of some young people to visit sexual health clinics because of embarrassment, or perceived stigma. This study investigates the attitudes of young people to Chlamydia testing, and reveals new insights into the channels most likely to encourage higher testing levels.”

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Monitoring HIV Care in the United States: Indicators and Data Systems – Institute of Medicine – 15 March 2012

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Monitoring HIV Care in the United States: Indicators and Data Systems – Institute of Medicine – 15 March 2012

“Advances in medical treatment have made it possible for people infected with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. The CDC estimates that 1.2 million people live with HIV in the United States, with approximately 50,000 people newly infected each year. People with HIV require continuous access to quality care and treatment for HIV as well as for their other health conditions. Access to and consistent use of medicines helps to improve health outcomes for people with HIV, reduces the risk of infected individuals transmitting the virus to others, among other benefits.

In July 2010, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) released its National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), which includes goals to increase access to care and optimize health outcomes for people with HIV, and to reduce HIV-related health disparities. At the same time, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is poised to bring millions of uninsured people – including many with HIV – into the health care system when it is implemented in 2014.

ONAP asked the IOM to identify core indicators related to continuous HIV clinical care and access to supportive services, and to monitor the effect of both the NHAS and ACA on improving HIV care. The IOM committee also was asked to identify the best sources of data to calculate the core indicators, as well as to describe potential barriers to data collection and the role of health IT in data collection. This report outlines a number of obstacles that prevent people with HIV from experiencing optimal health, identifies core indicators for use by the HHS to gauge the effects of the NHAS and ACA on improvements in HIV care and access to supportive services for people with HIV, and highlights 12 data collection systems that could be used to monitor the impact of the NHAS and ACA.”

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Septris – Tetris-like game helps physicians treat sepsis – Healthcare IT News – 16 March 2012

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Tetris-like game helps physicians treat sepsis – Healthcare IT News – 16 March 2012

by Diana Manos, Senior Editor

“STANFORD, CA – Researchers at Stanford University have designed an interactive case-based online activity to help clinicians prevent and treat sepsis, a life-threatening infection that takes more than 200,000 lives each year.

The online activity is called Septris and is inspired by the popular online game Tetris. The game runs best on iPad, iPhone or Android. On a desktop PC it requires Firefox 5+, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari. Internet Explorer is not supported, according to designers of the game.

Septris is used to help clinicians identify and manage sepsis, which strikes approximately 750,000 people in the U.S. Mortality remains high at 25 to 50 percent, at a cost of $17 billion each year, say Stanford researchers.

The activity provides a practical approach to early sepsis identification and application of evidence-based management and Stanford’s Sepsis Guidelines. Interactive case scenarios are used to put these principles into practice. The game developers note, however, that the game is an educational tool and the clinical information found in the game is part an enduring educational material. It should not take the place of practitioner decision-making in clinical circumstances.”

… continues on the site

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Designing the Microbial Research Commons: Proceedings of an International Workshop – National Research Council (US) Board on Research Data and Information – 5 March 2012

Posted on March 13, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Research |

Designing the Microbial Research Commons: Proceedings of an International Workshop – National Research Council (US) Board on Research Data and Information – 5 March 2012

Edited by Paul F Uhlir

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The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance – options for action – World Health Organization – 8 March 2012

Posted on March 9, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy | Tags: , |

The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance – options for action – World Health Organization – 8 March 2012

ISBN 978 92 4 150318 1

“This publication has been produced by the WHO Patient Safety Programme as part of its solid commitment to promoting safer care worldwide. It is the result of an international consultation process started in 2008, which gathered input from over 50 international experts in the field of antimicrobial resistance.”

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Revised guidance on Clostridium difficile issued – Department of Health [UK] – 6 March 2012

Posted on March 8, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pathology | Tags: |

Revised guidance on Clostridium difficile issued – Department of Health [UK] – 6 March 2012

“The Department today issued revised guidance on how to test, report and manage C. difficile infections.  In particular, the new guidance will help healthcare providers by identifying which two types of tests, which when used in combination, will deliver the most accurate results for C. difficile infection testing.

The guidance includes a testing algorithm that provides a step-by-step means of optimising performance, with the ability to clinically categorise patients with much greater accuracy.

It sets out:”

… continues

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Pandemic Vaccine Distribution Policy for the Twenty-First Century – Homeland Security Affairs – 2012

Posted on February 29, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

Pandemic Vacscine Distribution Policy for the Twenty-First Century – Homeland Security Affairs – 2012

“Introduction

The nation’s response to the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic has been met with scrutiny, candor, and a collaborative effort among federal and state agencies, local public health authorities, associations, and experienced practitioners. The Institutes of Medicine and Center for Biosecurity have held conferences that have paved the way toward improving pandemic response.1 The workshop format used at these conferences resulted in the identification and exploration of issues relating to vaccine supply, administration, and distribution by both attendees and panelists. However, after-action vaccine distribution discussions failed to result in an overarching implementation strategy that could be linked to many elements of a coherent vaccine distribution strategy. This article presents a model that could serve as a conceptual framework for designing a pandemic vaccine distribution policy.”

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Guidelines for prevention and control of group A streptococcal infection in acute healthcare and maternity settings in the UK

Posted on January 11, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Guidelines for prevention and control of group A streptococcal infection in acute healthcare and maternity settings in the UK.
Steer JA et al
J Infect. 2012 Jan;64(1):1-18. Epub 2011 Nov 17.
“Abstract
Hospital outbreaks of group A streptococcal (GAS) infection can be devastating and occasionally result in the death of previously well patients. Approximately one in ten cases of severe GAS infection is healthcare-associated. This guidance, produced by a multidisciplinary working group, provides an evidence-based systematic approach to the investigation of single cases or outbreaks of healthcare-associated GAS infection in acute care or maternity settings. The guideline recommends that all cases of GAS infection potentially acquired in hospital or through contact with healthcare or maternity services should be investigated. Healthcare workers, the environment, and other patients are possible sources of transmission. Screening of epidemiologically linked healthcare workers should be considered for healthcare-associated cases of GAS infection where no alternative source is readily identified. Communal facilities, such as baths, bidets and showers, should be cleaned and decontaminated between all patients especially on delivery suites, post-natal wards and other high risk areas. Continuous surveillance is required to identify outbreaks which arise over long periods of time. GAS isolates from in-patients, peri-partum patients, neonates, and post-operative wounds should be saved for six months to facilitate outbreak investigation. These guidelines do not cover diagnosis and treatment of GAS infection which should be discussed with an infection specialist.”

Media release: New Guidelines to Control Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Infections in UK Hospitals Launched – 10 January 2012

“The Health Protection Agency (HPA) together with the group A streptococcal (GAS) Working Group* has today launched new guidelines for the investigation, control and prevention of GAS infection in acute healthcare settings, including maternity units, in the UK.”   … continues

… continues

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Effectiveness of Early Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection – AHRQ Research Review – 19 December 2011

Posted on January 11, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Effectiveness of Early Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection – AHRQ Research Review – 19 December 2011
AHRQ = US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Clostridium difficile Infections: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention. Clinician Summary – AHRQ – 19 December 2011

Treating and Preventing C-diff Infections: A Review of the Research for Adults and Their Caregivers. Consumer Summary – AHRQ – 19 December 2011

Clostridium difficile Infections: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention – CME Activity

Clostridium difficile Infections: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention – Slides

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Alcohol and sex a cocktail for poor sexual health – 3 January 2012

Posted on January 4, 2012. Filed under: Alcohol & Drug Dep., Infectious Diseases |

Alcohol and sex a cocktail for poor sexual health – 3 January 2012

“NHS missing key opportunities to tackle alcohol abuse

A new report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) has exposed missed opportunities to tackle alcohol abuse through existing sexual health services.  More than one million young people attend sexual health clinics each year. The report argues that this provides a unique opportunity to communicate key messages relating to alcohol consumption to those who are at risk.

The report highlights clear evidence linking alcohol consumption to poor sexual health, particularly in the young:”

… continues on the site

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Improving Sexual Health Services in Scotland. Integration and innovation. National Overview – Health Improvement Scotland – 15 November 2011

Posted on December 13, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Improving Sexual Health Services in Scotland. Integration and innovation. National Overview – Health Improvement Scotland – 15 November 2011

ISBN 1-84404-603-6

Report

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HIV in the United Kingdom: 2011 report – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 29 November 2011

Posted on November 30, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

HIV in the United Kingdom: 2011 report – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 29 November 2011

News release: HPA urges ‘universal testing’ for HIV as it is revealed more than 21,00 people are unaware they have the infection
 
“The number of people living with HIV in the UK reached an estimated 91,500 in 2010, with a quarter of those unaware of their infection, according to Health Protection Agency (HPA) figures published today (Tuesday) ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December.
 
The report also showed how in 2010, one in five people visiting an STI clinic did not accept an HIV test. This comes as the HPA calls for universal testing for HIV, so that no one leaves an STI clinic without knowing their HIV status.
 
The HPA is concerned that over half of people diagnosed in 2010 came forward for testing after the point at which treatment for their infection should ideally have begun. Late diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of AIDS and death. Among the 680 people with HIV who died in 2010, two thirds were people who had been diagnosed late. The HPA report recommends that in areas where prevalence of HIV is high, there should be universal testing for the infection in all new GP registrants and patients admitted to hospital so as to reduce late diagnosis.
 
The HPA’s annual ‘HIV in the UK’ report found 6,660 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK. The report confirmed that infections probably acquired within the UK almost doubled in the last decade from 1,950 in 2001 to 3,640 in 2010 and exceed those acquired abroad – 3,020. This rise is mostly due to infections acquired among men who have sex with men, who remain the group most at risk of HIV infection in the UK.”
 
… continues on the site

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Australian hospital statistics 2010-2011: staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals – AIHW – 30 November 2011

Posted on November 30, 2011. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases, Patient Safety | Tags: |

Australian hospital statistics 2010-2011: staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals – AIHW – 30 November 2011

“In 2010-11: all states and territories had rates of hospital-associated SAB below the national benchmark with rates ranging from 0.9 to 1.4 cases per 10, 000 patient days; there were 1,873 cases of hospital-associated SAB reported for Australia. The reported SAB cases occurred during approximately 17 million days of patient care.”

ISSN 1036-613X; ISBN 978-1-74249-263-6; Cat. no. HSE 116; 15pp

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Guidelines for the management of norovirus outbreaks in acute and community health and social care settings – Health Protection Agency – 25 November 2011

Posted on November 28, 2011. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Guidelines for the management of norovirus outbreaks in acute and community health and social care settings – Health Protection Agency – 25 November 2011

“This guidance gives recommendations on the management of outbreaks of vomiting and/or diarrhoea in hospitals and community health and social care settings, including nursing and residential homes. They are not specifically intended to cover schools, colleges, prisons, military establishments, hotels or shipping although there will be some general principles that will be of use in managing outbreaks in those institutions.”

Media release

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How to get to zero: Faster. Smarter. Better. – UNAIDS – World Adis Day Report – November 2011

Posted on November 23, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases |

How to get to zero: Faster. Smarter. Better. – UNAIDS – World Adis Day Report – November 2011

ISBN: 978-92-9173-904-2     UNAIDS / JC2216E

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European strategic action plan on antibiotic resistance 2011-2016 – WHO Regional Committee for Europe

Posted on November 22, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy |

European strategic action plan on antibiotic resistance 2011-2016 – WHO REgional Committee for Europe

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Antimicrobial stewardship: Start smart – then focus – Department of Health [UK] – 17 November 2011

Posted on November 22, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy |

Antimicrobial stewardship: Start smart – then focus – Department of Health [UK] – 17 November 2011
 
“The aim of this guidance is to provide an outline of evidence-based antimicrobial stewardship in the secondary healthcare setting. Following this Guidance will help organisations to demonstrate compliance with Criterion 9 of The Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.”

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Online monitoring system maps flu outbreak across UK – British Journal of Healthcare Computing – November 2011

Posted on November 18, 2011. Filed under: Health Informatics, Infectious Diseases |

Online monitoring system maps flu outbreak across UK – British Journal of Healthcare Computing – November 2011

“[London, UK/ Implementations] – An online monitoring tool that will allow researchers to track the spread of seasonal flu in the UK was launched last week. In contrast to traditional surveillance methods, the Flusurvey collects data directly from the general public, rather than via hospitals or GPs. This is an advantage because many people with flu don’t visit a doctor so are not included in traditional flu surveillance. 

The Flusurvey shows data in Google maps and flags up severity and trends early in the season. It could also provide early indications of flu vaccine uptake and effectiveness, and whether the Government’s decision not to run a national advertising campaign in England has had any impact.

This year it will, for the first time, join a European network of online surveys, gathering information on how the illness spreads across the continent and enabling comparison between different countries.

The Flusurvey is the brainchild of scientists John Edmunds, Ken Eames and Sebastian Funk, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.”

… continues on the site

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Review of Australia’s Health Sector Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: Lessons Identified – Australian Department of Health and Ageing – October 2011

Posted on November 16, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Influenza A(H1N1) / Swine Flu | Tags: |

Review of Australia’s Health Sector Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: Lessons Identified – Australian Department of Health and Ageing – October 2011

Print ISBN: 978-1-74241-551-2    Online ISBN: 978-1-74241-552-9

“This review examines the Australian health sector’s response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (the 2009 pandemic) in the context of what was planned for and what occurred during the response. The review identifies what worked well, as well as issues that require further consideration to strengthen the planning, management and operational aspects of pandemic health response arrangements in Australia. The recommendations included in this review accordingly focus on the issues identified. This review does not attempt to resolve these issues; an implementation process will be developed jointly with state and territory health officials through the Australian Health Protection Committee (AHPC).”

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CDC now tracking antibiotic use in hospitals – 14 November 2011

Posted on November 15, 2011. Filed under: Health Informatics, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

CDC now tracking antibiotic use in hospitals – 14 November 2011

“Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2011 spotlights importance of appropriate antibiotic use

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a new antibiotic tracking system allowing hospitals to monitor antibiotic use electronically, make better decisions about how to improve use, and compare themselves to other hospitals. Before now, CDC was only able to track antibiotic use in doctors′ offices.

Each year, millions of Americans take antibiotics to fight infections. But overuse and misuse of antibiotics can change germs, allowing them to evolve resistance to antibiotics, which increases the risk of an infection for which there are limited or no treatment options. Patients who receive antibiotics can experience side effects, including allergic reactions and may be at increased risk for Clostridium difficile infection, a potentially deadly diarrheal infection.

“Antibiotic use leads to antibiotic resistance, which is a major public health problem,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Hospitals and other health care facilities should monitor the antibiotics used in their facilities. This new system is a powerful tool that will enhance providers′ ability to monitor and improve patterns of antibiotic use so that these essential drugs will still be effective in the years to come.”

The antibiotic use tracking system is part of CDC′s National Healthcare Safety Network, the nation′s premier tool for monitoring infections in health care facilities, which includes over 4,800 hospitals. CDC has funded four health departments and their academic partners to implement the tracking system in 70 hospitals. In addition, any hospital that participates in the National Healthcare Safety Network can utilize this tool by working directly with its pharmacy software vendor to transmit data electronically from drug administration or barcoding records. There is no manual entry of data, thus saving a facility time and money.”

… continues on the site

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Implementation research for the control of infectious diseases of poverty – WHO – 17 October 2011

Posted on October 20, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Knowledge Translation | Tags: |

Implementation research for the control of infectious diseases of poverty – WHO – 17 October 2011

“Strengthening the evidence base for the access and delivery of new and improved tools, strategies and interventions

ISBN:  978 92 4 150262 7
 
Summary

This report shows how implementation research can increase access to health interventions in low and middle income countries. It explains how it can be used to strengthen health systems, improve patient safety, expand community-based interventions and local implementation capacity, and improve the outcomes of public-private partnerships and global health initiatives. The report provides numerous case studies and a “roadmap for action” on how to better use this research field. More than 120 people from across the globe came together for this project, with the goal of defining the value of implementation research and highlighting the gaps in this area. Researchers, implementers, scientists and representatives from product development partnerships (PDPs) attended an initial meeting organized in conjunction with the Ministry of Health of Uganda in Kampala, 28-30 June 2010. They provided critical input and analysis into a draft outline of the issues, which was then further developed by a team of authors from low, middle and high income countries, who provide a rich variety of perspectives and experiences.”

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Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax – Institute of Medicine – 30 September 2011

Posted on October 3, 2011. Filed under: Disaster Management, Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax – Institute of Medicine – 30 September 2011

“If terrorists released Bacillus anthracis over a large city, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk of the deadly disease anthrax – caused by the B anthracis spores – unless they had rapid access to antibiotic medical countermeasures (MCM). The spores can be inhaled, be ingested, or come into contact with the skin. Inhalational anthrax is considered the most severe bioterrorism threat because the spores can travel significant distances through the air, and it has the highest mortality rate – approaching 100 percent if untreated. Although plans for rapidly delivering MCM to a large number of people following an anthrax attack have been significantly enhanced over the last decade, many public health authorities and policy experts fear that the nation’s current systems and plans are insufficient to respond to the most challenging scenarios, such as a very large-scale anthrax attack or an attack on multiple cities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response commissioned the IOM to examine the potential uses, benefits, and disadvantages of strategies for prepositioning antibiotics. This involves storing antibiotics close to or in the possession of the people who would need rapid access to them should an attack occur. The IOM defined and evaluated three categories of prepositioning strategies that could complement existing, centralized stockpiling strategies, including the Strategic National Stockpile maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Forward-Deployed MCM: MCM stored near the locations from which they will be dispensed
Cached MCM: MCM stored at the locations from which they will be dispensed, such as workplaces and health care facilities
Predispensed MCM: MCM stored by the intended users

While prepositioning strategies have the potential to reduce the time between an anthrax attack and when an individual receives antibiotics, this potential benefit should be weighed against increased costs of associated with prepositioning strategies, a lower degree of flexibility to change plans following an attack if needed, and possible health risks involved with home antibiotic storage. The IOM committee developed a decision-aiding framework to help state, local, and tribal health officials determine which prepositioning strategies—if any—would benefit their communities.”

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HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia. Annual Surveillance Report 2011 – Kirby Institute – 2011

Posted on September 27, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia. Annual Surveillance Report 2011 – Kirby Institute – 2011

The Kirby Institute. HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia Annual Surveillance Report 2011. The Kirby Institute, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health

“This report is the fifteenth annual review of available surveillance data pertaining to the occurrence of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia. It is intended to be a reference document for organisations and individuals interested in the occurrence of these infectious diseases in Australia, drawing together relevant data from many sources into a single comprehensive report.”

ABC media reporting on this

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ResistanceMap – Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy [US]

Posted on September 23, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

ResistanceMap – Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy [US]

“ResistanceMap is a web-based collection of tools that allow accessible, engaging, and interactive exploration of more than 50 antimicrobial surveillance indicators from North America and Europe.

Researchers, policymakers, and the public can use the Map to gain insight into the trends and magnitude of an unfolding public health crisis. To reach a wider audeince, visualizations may be reembedded on any blog or website.”

Wall Street Journal Health Blog on this
September 21, 2011   Visualizing Antibiotic Resistance With a New Online Tool
.

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Roll Back Malaria Partnership: A Decade of Partnership and Results – 12 September 2011

Posted on September 16, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases |

Roll Back Malaria Partnership: A Decade of Partnership and Results – 12 September 2011

” A new report released today by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) finds that the world has made remarkable gains against malaria in the past ten years, increasing optimism that an end to the disease is in sight. According to Roll Back Malaria Partnership: A Decade of Partnership and Results, global malaria deaths have dropped by an estimated 38%, with 43 countries (11 of them in Africa) cutting malaria cases or deaths by 50% or more, reversing the trend of the previous decade and saving over a million lives.”

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Fungal Diseases: An Emerging Threat To Human, Animal, and Plant Health – Institute of Medicine Workshop Summary – Released 9 September 2011

Posted on September 12, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Fungal Diseases: An Emerging Threat To Human, Animal, and Plant Health – Institute of Medicine Workshop Summary – Released 9 September 2011
Full text on National Academies Press 

“Fungal organisms are indispensible members of virtually all ecosystems and the “invisible” shapers of the world around us. They comprise one of the most diverse kingdoms in the Tree of Life, yet fewer than 10 percent of fungal organisms have been formally classified. Fungal diseases have contributed to death and disability in humans, triggered global wildlife extinctions and population declines, devastated agricultural crops, and altered forest ecosystem dynamics. Despite the extensive influence of fungi on health and economic well-being, the threats posed by emerging fungal pathogens to life on Earth are often underappreciated and poorly understood.

On December 14 and 15, 2010, the IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop to explore the scientific and policy dimensions associated with the causes and consequences of emerging fungal diseases. Participants discussed factors influencing the emergence, establishment, and spread of fungal pathogens; the effects of these diseases on human and animal health, agriculture, and biodiversity; and opportunities to improve surveillance, detection, and response strategies for these diseases.”

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National Partnership Agreement on Essential Vaccines: Performance report for April 2010–March 2011 – COAG Reform Council – released 6 September 2011

Posted on September 6, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

National Partnership Agreement on Essential Vaccines: Performance report for April 2010–March 2011 – COAG Reform Council – released 6 September 2011

“This is the council’s second report on the National Partnership Agreement on Essential Vaccines. The council has assessed the performance of all States and Territories against four benchmarks based on maintaining, and, where possible, improving immunisation coverage rates.

This report was submitted to COAG on 10 August 2011, and publicly released on 6 September 2011.”

Executive summary –  PDF 108KB
Full report – PDF 498KB

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