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
SAN ANTONIO - The largest ever military investigation of rabies exposure involved more than 900 Air Force personnel interviewed and 200 receiving post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) at a cost of about $400,000.
WASHINGTON - As the U.S. public health community desperately seeks to help contain what experts say is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first in West Africa, DoD also is monitoring the situation closely and has created an internal task force to “further review the situation.”
By Brenda L. Mooney DALLAS – The suspected link between azithromycin and an increased incidence of cardiovascular events was borne out in a recent VA study of veterans hospitalized with pneumonia, but that was only... View Article
By Brenda L. Mooney IOWA CITY, IA – In addition to increasing mortality and morbidity, surgical-site infections (SSIs) nearly double the cost of treatment of patients at the VA yet usually are preventable with good... View Article
By Brenda L. Mooney COLUMBIA, SC — Veterans prescribed amoxicillin over a nearly 13-year period were less likely to be diagnosed with potentially fatal heart rhythms than those using either azithromycin or levofloxacin, according to... View Article
By Brenda L. Mooney LEXINGTON, KY — The VA requirement to obtain nasal surveillance swabs on all patients at hospital admission, unit-to-unit transfer and discharge appears to be a key component of the continued decline... View Article
By Annette M. Boyle Jeffery McCombs, PhD LOS ANGELES — While achieving undetectable viral loads reduces the risk of death associated with hepatitis C by 45% and other adverse liver-related complications by 27%, only 4%... View Article
By Annette M. Boyle David Ross, MD, PhD WASHINGTON — New therapies for hepatitis C (HCV) are pouring out of the pharmaceutical pipeline and promising effective treatment with fewer side effects for many of the... View Article
By Annette M. Boyle Amy Justice, MD, Ph.D NEW HAVEN, CT — With human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) now being treated more like diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases, HIV patients face some of the same... View Article
Annette M. Boyle SILVER SPRING, MD – While no cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have occurred in the United States or among U.S. servicemembers, DoD is taking no chances on missing any... View Article
By Brenda L. Mooney BETHESDA, MD – After years of red tape, the military finally has received approval to proceed with the human-use protocol for Arbekacin, an antibiotic shown in laboratory tests to be effective... View Article
By Sandra Basu Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), chairman of the HOuse Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations WASHINGTON – As Congress considers legislation to require VA medical facilities to follow reportable infectious... View Article
HINES, IL — Receiving appropriate amounts of information from valid sources may affect adherence to infection control recommendations during pandemics, according to researchers from the Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care, Hines, IL, VAMC.... View Article
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