Infectious Disease

Anthrax Vaccine Didn’t Increase Soldiers’ Disability

AMHERST, MA – Prior exposure to anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) did not increase risk of disability separation from the Army or receipt of disability compensation from the VA, according to a consultant study.1 Authors of the study from ENVIRON International… Read More

Military Close to Human Ebola ‘Cocktail’ Treatment

Military Close to Human Ebola ‘Cocktail’ Treatment FREDERICK, MD — Military researchers have moved a step closer to protecting humans against the deadly effects of Ebola virus. A new Ebola virus study has shown promising preliminary results, preventing disease in… Read More

Effect on INR from Antibiotics in Warfarin Patients

RICHMOND, VA – Even though antibiotics may lead to an increase in international normalized ratio (INR) for older veterans on stable warfarin therapy, that may not result in clinically significant outcomes of bleeding or hospitalization, according to a new report.1… Read More

Protocol Can Speed Antibiotics for Sepsis

TACOMA, WA – Sepsis, one of the leading causes of death in critical-care units, can progress rapidly, making early initiation of antibiotics critical. A recent study from Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA, underscores that a sepsis protocol can… Read More

Proton Pump Inhibitors Increase Infections in Cirrhosis Patients

RICHMOND, VA — The rate of serious infections is significantly increased for patients with decompensated cirrhosis who take proton pump inhibitors (PPI), according to a recent study.1 Researchers from McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, VA, sought to determine… Read More

Invasive Fungal Infections Complicate Treatment, Increase Mortality of IED-Wounded Servicemembers

By Brenda L. Mooney BETHESDA, MD – Invasive fungal wound infections are on the increase in military personnel wounded by improvised explosive devices, leading to significant morbidity and even death in some cases where the victims initially survived. David R.… Read More

Triple Therapy for Hepatitis C: High Cure Rate, Greater Risks

Annette M. Boyle LOS ANGELES — The approval last year of the first new drugs for treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) in 20 years substantially increased the rate of virologic cure for patients with the most common form of the… Read More

Telemedicine Program Improving HCV Care for Rural Veterans

By Sandra Basu WEST HAVEN, CT — Twice-a-month online sessions hosted by the VA Connecticut Healthcare System are not typical telemedicine initiatives in which clinicians provide care to individual patients over electronic media. Instead, hepatitis C (HCV) specialists are training… Read More

Hepatitis E Threatens Military Forces but U.S. Has Kept It Well-Controlled

Since its discovery in the early 1980s, hepatitis E has been a potent threat to military forces around the world. At one point, the U.S. military was concerned enough to fund intensive research on a vaccine to protect against Hepevirus,… Read More

Sexually-Transmitted Diseases Rise Among Deployed Troops, In Line with Civilian Rates

WASHINGTON — Sexually-transmitted diseases are on the rise in troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study which recommends more screening and health education. Gonorrhea rates ranged from 5 per 100,000 deployed personnel in 2005 to 17.6 per… Read More

Researchers Warn: Use of Last-Resort Antibiotics on Rise at VA, Could Lead to More Hospital-Acquired Resistant Infections

Use of carbapenems, a powerful class of antibiotic sometimes referred to as “last-resort” antibiotics has risen significantly over the last five years, according to a large study of VA hospitals. Carbapenems are often the last treatment option for severe infections… Read More

VA Says Infection Control Problems Being Remedied, Defends Response Against Congressional Accusations of Secretiveness

Washington – Despite the VA’s efforts to improve oversight in areas such as the cleaning and reprocessing of medical equipment, infection risks still exist for patients, according to a recent government report. Members of a congressional committee blamed a “culture… Read More

Study: Resistant Infections Plummet at VA Hospitals Because of MRSA Initiative

WASHINGTON—A nationwide initiative by VA to reduce the spread of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within its facilities has resulted in a dramatic drop of more than 60% in hospital-acquired infections in less than three years, according to a recent… Read More

With 90% of U.S. Influenza Deaths in Elderly, New High Dose Vaccine Seeks Lower Mortality, Morbidity Rates

Despite the widespread availability of seasonal flu vaccines, influenza continues to be responsible for significant morbidity and mortality in the United States. Each year, influenza causes 3.1 million hospitalization days and 34.1 million outpatient visits at an estimated direct medical… Read More

Psychiatric Issues in HCV-Infected Veterans Must Be Managed With Underlying Disease

Managing the physical disease alone is not enough with veterans infected with hepatitis C and who also have high rates of mental health conditions. Addressing the psychiatric issues is especially critical when interferon-based therapies—where depression is a contraindicatio—are the preferred… Read More

New Self-Assessment Tool Helps Physicians Monitor HIV Medication Adherence

When it comes to treatment adherence, HIV is far from the easiest disease to manage. The sheer number of medications, combined with the precision with which they must be taken, can stymie patients and physicians alike. While this fact has… Read More

Researchers Continue Military’s Long Battle Against Malaria, Seek to Develop Vaccine

In their efforts to outmaneuver the highly elusive malaria parasite, researchers at the U.S. Military Malaria Vaccine Program (USMMVP) are more than intellectually and professionally committed. Many of them literally have skin in the game. “Pretty much every principal… Read More

Although Herpes Zoster Rates Have Nearly Doubled in VA, Vaccination Levels Remain Extremely Low

The incidence of herpes zoster (shingles) in veterans seeking care at VA hospitals continues its steady increase, rising even since a 2010 report documented a near doubling of the rate using VHA Decision Support System data from 2000 to 2007.… Read More

While Most Central Line Bloodstream Infections Decline, Kidney Dialysis Bucks The Trend

WASHINGTON, DC—With a decline in the number of central line associate bloodstream infections in intensive care units, the focus is turning to an area where such infections are burgeoning – kidney dialysis clinics. The CDC reported last month that there… Read More

Public Health Officials Optimistic About Dengue Fever Vaccine in A Few Years

WASHINGTON, DC—With two-fifths of the world’s population at risk for dengue fever, a severe flu-like illness which sometimes leads to fatal complications, the development of a vaccine has long been an important, albeit elusive, goal in managing the disease. Now,… Read More