A next-generation tetracycline, omadacycline could improve care for veterans with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) and acute skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI).
A study looking at whether taking prescribed opioids increased pneumonia risk in veterans with HIV vs. those without came to a disturbing conclusion: The likelihood is increased in both.
The Defense Health Agency (DHA) has released interim guidance designed to optimize clinical use of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pre-exposure prophylaxis and reduce variability in access to prophylactic medication.
Thirty years ago, veterans with human immunodeficiency virus and their physicians focused on survival.
For most people, mention of bilirubin, which is formed after the breakdown of red blood cells and is eliminated by the liver, elicits thoughts of jaundice—which occurs when the compound is too high.
The VA has successfully piloted a nationwide system to alert VA facilities when patients are admitted with a history of infection with two challenging multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs).
Precautionary practices to prevent infectious agent transmission in hospitals often fail, according to a study looking at 325 patient rooms, including some at a VAMC.
While the VA significantly lags behind other healthcare systems in mandating influenza vaccinations for healthcare workers, according to recent research, it is moving closer to the national average because of a directive issued last fall.
Predictions that the influenza vaccine would be largely ineffective in the U.S. based on results seen in Australia the previous summer troubled many federal infectious disease specialists going into last year's flu season.
Zika virus infection had affected more than a half-million people in the Western Hemisphere by the end of 2016. Among those were more than 700 VA patients with confirmed or presumed possible infection.
The VA's success in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use in its hospitals has not trickled down to its outpatient clinics.
The VA is leveraging its position as the country’s largest integrated healthcare system to slow the development and spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO).
New research is raising questions about whether the VA is doing enough to promote influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel.
By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON—VA physicians in facilities across New England increasingly turn to infectious disease specialists at the VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS) with questions about antibiotic resistance, Lyme disease and other issues, but... View Article
By Brenda L. Mooney BETHESDA, MD—When it comes to treating acute HIV infection, sooner is better, noted a new study led by U.S. military researchers. The study, published in the Journal of the International AIDS... View Article
In mid-2016, Sanofi Pasteur announced that manufacturing issues could produce a YF-VAX shortage that might last for several months.
Antiretroviral therapy has extended the lives of veterans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by decades, but a new threat could cut back their longevity.
Over the next year or so, the remarkable transformation of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment at the VA will likely reach some type of equilibrium, a new study suggested.
SALT LAKE CITY — Severe illness caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is now the most common hospital-acquired infection in the United States. A new VA-led study suggests, however, that it is not always being treated appropriately.
Veterans living in rural areas face a lot of challenges, the most common of which is having to travel long distances to access VA medical care.
Military physicians stumped by a diagnosis might want to consider leishmaniasis in personnel returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, according to a new report.
When the VHA implemented a nationwide prevention initiative against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), healthcare facility-associated infections (HAIs) were unacceptably high.
BETHESDA, MD – While vaccination is the most important preventive strategy against influenza, post-vaccination antibody responses are often inadequate, especially among HIV-infected persons, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the journal Vaccine,... View Article
In the not-too-distant past, influenza vaccines could only be obtained in clinics or physicians’ offices. That changed over a 14 year period from 1996 to 2010 when 41 states changed statutes to allow pharmacists to provide immunizations.
How beneficial is early initiation of influenza antiviral treatment administered to pregnant women hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza?
SAN DIEGO – Past research has shown that patients with HIV infection vaccinated early in the flu season are generally more likely to contract influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI), compared with those receiving late vaccination.... View Article
IOWA CITY, IA – Co-infection with Staphylococcus aureus and influenza more than quadruples the risk of death compared to those without influenza, according to a new study. The article published recently in the national Centers... View Article
ANN ARBOR, MI—Multiple national recommendations encourage all healthcare workers to get the influenza vaccination, thereby reducing the chance they will pass the virus on to their patients. Despite a patient population of older and sicker... View Article
While influenza vaccine is the first line of defense against an infectious disease that can dramatically affect troop readiness, it is far from 100% effective.
In February, five U.S. representatives from California blasted the VA in a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald, alleging the Palo Alto Medical Center failed to follow public health protocol regarding potential tuberculosis (TB) exposure.
Drawing on deep experience with flaviviruses that started with its namesake’s research on yellow fever in the 1800s, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and collaborators brought two Zika vaccine candidates through early testing in just four months this spring.
ANN ARBOR, MI — Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gained Food and Drug Administration approval in 2012, and many commentators hailed the therapy as a “once-in-a-generation” advance.
HOUSTON — After a decade of dramatically rising rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among veterans, aggressive treatment of hepatitis C infections (HCV) appears poised to turn the tide.
Pre-infection Immunological Health Achieved in Some CasesBy Annette M. Boyle SAN ANTONIO — For years, clinicians have not recommended treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients with antiretroviral therapy (ART) before they saw a significant drop... View Article
VA Researchers Recommend Against the Practice in Most CasesBy Brenda L. MooneyANN ARBOR, MI — In a case where the preventive measure might be worse than the avoided outcome, hospitals at the VHA and elsewhere... View Article
New Research Uncovers Some Clues to Aid PreventionBy Brenda L. MooneyWASHINGTON — As the VHA works to reduce the overall post-operative rate of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), important new research has uncovered some clues to... View Article
For the VA, the combination of effective treatment options and much lower prevalence of HCV in younger veterans may offer a light at the end of the tunnel — and a turning point in the steady rise of HCV-associated complications such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in only a few years.
Subhead: Post-operative Mortality Rates Low Among ART UsersBy Annette M. BoyleWEST HAVEN, CT — Historically, high post-operative mortality rates among HIV-infected patients caused many physicians and patients to defer or avoid surgery all together. For... View Article
By Brenda L. MooneySALT LAKE CITY — A study conducted in the VA health system uncovered a disturbing truth about overuse of antibiotics: A big contributor to the problem is that some clinicians prescribe the... View Article
The VA’s methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention initiative reduced healthcare-associated MRSA infections 69% in VA acute care facilities and 81% in spinal cord injury units in five years. The VA hopes to see similar success in preventing infections with Clostridium difficile (CDI) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) — and the MRSA bundle itself may help them do that.
Lower immunization rates have increased the number of U.S. outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, even of those considered eradicated in this country, such as measles.
Research Contradicts Other Recent FindingsBy Brenda L. MooneyPHILADELPHIA — As the latest influenza season finally abates, a new VA study raises questions about how effective the high-dose vaccine really is for the 65 or older... View Article
Amid all the outcry over the high cost of new hepatitis C therapies, including congressional hearings, a simple fact has been overlooked: The VA expects to save money in the long run because of the... View Article
WASHINGTON — When dozens of patients suffering with fever, severe diarrhea, hemorrhage and vomiting started dying in Guinea in early 2014
By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – Rates of serologic testing for hepatitis B (HBV) at the VA fail to meet levels recommended by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) practice guideline,... View Article
Higher Pneumonia Vaccine Rates Urged By Brenda L. Mooney PROVIDENCE, RI – With influenza season each year comes an even greater challenge for VA hospitals — a spate of pneumonia cases in older veterans. Recent... View Article
Free Shots Available at Walgreen’s Locations By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO – The VA typically has influenza vaccination rates well above the national average but is trying some innovative measures to do even better. As part of... View Article
By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – While commercial insurers responded to the approval of the breakthrough drug sofosbuvir for hepatitis C (HCV) by implementing prescribing restrictions, limiting use to the sickest patients and charging higher... View Article
By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – When the first Infectious Disease Clinic took place at the Washington, DC, VAMC in 1985, only a handful of HIV-infected patients took advantage. In fact, the disease hadn’t even been... View Article
By Brenda L. Mooney PITTSBURGH – Will hepatitis C become a rare disease over the next two decades or so? The answer is yes, according to a computer simulation conducted by the University of Pittsburgh... View Article
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