infections

medicine

Medicine-carriers made from human cells can cure lung infections

SPOKANE, Wash. – Scientists used human white blood cell membranes to carry two drugs, an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory, directly to infected lungs in mice.

The nano-sized drug delivery method developed at Washington State University successfully treated both the bacterial growth and inflammation in the mice’s lungs. The study, recently published in Communications Biology, shows a potential new strategy for treating infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

“If a doctor simply gives two drugs to a patient, they don’t go directly to the lungs. They circulate in the whole body, so potentially there’s a lot of toxicity,” said Zhenjia Wang, the study’s corresponding author and an associate professor in WSU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Instead, we can load the two types of drugs into these vesicles that specifically target the lung inflammation.”

Wang and his research team have developed a method to essentially peel the membrane from neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cells that lead the body’s immune system response. Once emptied, these membranes can be used as nanovesicles, tiny empty sacks only 100 to 200 nanometers wide, which scientists can then fill with medicine.

These nanovesicles retain some of the properties of the original white blood cells, so when they are injected into a patient, they travel directly to the inflamed area just as the cells would normally, but these nanovesicles carry the medicines that the scientists implanted to attack the infection.

In this study, first author Jin Gao, a WSU research associate, loaded the nanovesicles with an antibiotic and resolvinD1, an anti-inflammatory derived from Omega 3 fatty acids, to treat lungs infected by P. aeruginosa, a common potentially fatal pathogen patients can catch in hospital settings. The researchers used two drugs because lung infections often create two problems, the infection itself and inflammation created by a strong immune system response.

Toxicity studies and clinical trials would have to be conducted before this method could be used in human patients, but this study provides evidence that the innovation works for lung inflammation. If the method is ultimately proven safe and effective for humans, Wang said the nanovesicles could be loaded with any type of drug to treat a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

“I think it’s possible to translate this technology to help treat COVID-19,” said Wang. “COVID-19 is a virus, not a bacterial pathogen, but it also causes an inflammation response in the lung, so we could load an antiviral drug like remdesivir into the nanovesicle, and it would target that inflammation.”

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Physician advocates screening teen emergency room patients for sexually transmitted infections

emergency room
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A University of Cincinnati researcher is recommending pediatric hospital emergency rooms consider screening for sexually transmitted infections (STI) teenage and young adult patients who visit for other acute care issues.

Mark Eckman, MD, professor and director of the UC Division of General Internal Medicine, conducted a computer analysis that simulated outcomes for screening pediatric emergency room patients ages 15-21 for sexually transmitted infections. It will add costs to hospital budgets but Eckman says it also helps combat future health complications of STIs for young people.

Using a hypothetical population that included 10,000 emergency room visits Eckman looked at a 3.6% prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhea—the same amount generally found in the nation’s young adult population—and the impact of targeted screening, universal screening and no screening. Under the scenario 360 STI cases would be present.

Targeted screening resulted in the detection and successful treatment of 95 of 360 STI cases (26.4%) at a cost of $313,063 and universally offered screening identified and treated 112 of 360 STI cases at a cost of $515,503. If no screening were done, 76 of 360 cases (21.1%) would be found at a cost of $190,409.

The study’s results in its entirety were recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics.

“Untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea can in women lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancies because of scarring in the fallopian tubes, while men can face epididymitis,” says Eckman, also a UC Health physician. “Women and men could face infertility if these sexually transmitted infections are not treated.”

Nationally, adolescents and young adults represent 25% of the sexually active population, but comprise 50% of all diagnosed sexually transmitted infection cases. Of the 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections each year 10 million occur among adolescents and young adults.


Low screening rates for adolescents diagnosed with PID in the nation’s emergency departments


More information:
Mark H. Eckman et al, Cost-effectiveness of Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening for Adolescents and Young Adults in the Pediatric Emergency Department, JAMA Pediatrics (2020). DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.3571
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University of Cincinnati

Citation:
Physician advocates screening teen emergency room patients for sexually transmitted infections (2020, November 4)
retrieved 4 November 2020
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-11-physician-advocates-screening-teen-emergency.html

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US Coronavirus: Second highest number of new Covid-19 cases reported on Election Day, with more than 91,000 infections

The country’s five highest days of coronavirus cases have all been recorded since October 29, affirming experts’ warnings another surge is well on its way and will only get worse. The nationwide 7-day average of new cases now stands at about 86,363 — more than double what it was on September 4. And while doctors have stressed basic public health measures like masks and social distancing can turn things around, such measures remain a point of contention in some parts of the US.

Now only five states are trending in the right direction — Alabama, Hawaii, Louisiana, Tennessee and Vermont — while at least 36 are reporting more new cases than the previous week, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

And states including Idaho, Ohio, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases Tuesday.

In Kentucky, where the governor has long cautioned that infections were climbing quickly, he said Tuesday that “every day, things appear to be getting worse.”

“We are seeing not only a surge in the virus, but more and more of our kids by percentage who are getting it,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement.

Dr. Deborah Birx's stern warning is a wakeup call
His words follow an alarming new report saying that Covid-19 case counts were impacting children around the country at “unprecedented levels,” with the last week of October seeing the highest one-week spike in new infections.
Hospitalizations among Americans are also up, and hundreds of people continue to lose their lives from the virus every day. More than 232,000 have died in the US since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins. And about another 100,000 Americans will die in just the next two months, projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show.

Hospitalizations ‘sharply increasing’ in Midwest

Across the country, more than 50,000 people are hospitalized with the virus, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project — an increase of more than 67% in a month.

Hospitalizations are “sharply increasing” in the Midwest, according to the project.

El Paso is facing its worst Covid-19 outbreak while trying to vote on Election Day
“In the region there are 238 people currently hospitalized per million people,” it said on Twitter.

In Nebraska, health officials say a surge of infections have put a strain on hospitals statewide. Chief medical officers of three major hospital systems said Monday Covid-19 hospitalizations had increased 91% in the Omaha metro area between October 17 and October 31. Now, hospital capacity and staff are approaching their limits, the hospital officials said.

“We have seen a doubling of Covid positive patients in the last several weeks,” Dr. Cary Ward, chief medical officer of CHI Health, said. “No doubt if this trend continues, not just our hospitals, but every hospital in the state could be at capacity.”

In Indiana, hospitalizations reached a record high Monday, with more than 1,800 patients being treated for Covid-19. The state’s previous record was on April 13, when about 1,799 people were hospitalized.

Covid-19 third leading cause of death in Arkansas

And in Arkansas, the governor announced

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Second highest number of new Covid-19 cases reported on Election Day, with more than 91,000 infections

The US recorded 91,530 new Covid-19 infections on the day many Americans cast their ballots, adding to a series of staggering case numbers reported within just the past week.



MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 29: Members of the Wisconsin National Guard operate a mobile COVID-19 test center on the grounds of Miller Park on October 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wisconsin recently reported a seven-day average positivity rate of 27.2%, the highest infection rate to date for the state. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


© Scott Olson/Getty Images
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 29: Members of the Wisconsin National Guard operate a mobile COVID-19 test center on the grounds of Miller Park on October 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Wisconsin recently reported a seven-day average positivity rate of 27.2%, the highest infection rate to date for the state. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The country’s five highest days of coronavirus cases have all been recorded since October 29, affirming experts’ warnings another surge is well on its way and will only get worse. The nationwide 7-day average of new cases now stands at about 86,363 — more than double what it was on September 4. And while doctors have stressed basic public health measures like masks and social distancing can turn things around, such measures remain a point of contention in some parts of the US.

Now only five states are trending in the right direction — Alabama, Hawaii, Louisiana, Tennessee and Vermont — while at least 36 are reporting more new cases than the previous week, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

And states including Idaho, Ohio, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all reported a record number of new Covid-19 cases Tuesday.

In Kentucky, where the governor has long cautioned that infections were climbing quickly, he said Tuesday that “every day, things appear to be getting worse.”

“We are seeing not only a surge in the virus, but more and more of our kids by percentage who are getting it,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement.

His words follow an alarming new report saying that Covid-19 case counts were impacting children around the country at “unprecedented levels,” with the last week of October seeing the highest one-week spike in new infections.

Hospitalizations among Americans are also up, and hundreds of people continue to lose their lives from the virus every day. More than 232,000 have died in the US since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins. And about another 100,000 Americans will die in just the next two months, projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show.

Hospitalizations ‘sharply increasing’ in Midwest

Across the country, more than 50,000 people are hospitalized with the virus, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project — an increase of more than 67% in a month.

Hospitalizations are “sharply increasing” in the Midwest, according to the project.

“In the region there are 238 people currently hospitalized per million people,” it said on Twitter.

In Nebraska, health officials say a surge of infections have put a strain on hospitals statewide. Chief medical officers of three major hospital systems said Monday Covid-19 hospitalizations had increased 91% in the Omaha metro area between October 17 and October 31. Now, hospital capacity and staff are approaching their limits, the hospital officials said.

“We

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health

Spain Sets Record COVID-19 Case Rise With Over 55,000 New Infections: Health Ministry | World News

MADRID (Reuters) – The number of coronavirus infections in Spain rose by 55,019 on Monday, the biggest increase since the start of the pandemic and more than double the increase of 25,595 new infections on Friday, health ministry data showed.

The death toll went up by 379, bringing the total number of coronavirus fatalities to 36,257 in Spain, which approved a six-month state of emergency last week to try to curb the second wave of contagion.

The 379 deaths was the sharpest one-day rise during the second wave, though still a far cry from nearly 900 at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in late March.

The big jump in infections could partly be explained by an accumulation of cases over a three-day bank holiday weekend in Spain.

The official cumulative number of infections now stands at 1,240,697, but Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said the real total is likely to be above 3 million, based on prevalence studies and estimates.

The northern region of Asturias asked for permission on Monday from the Spanish government to impose a two-week home lockdown as the pressure on health services reached breaking point.

“What most worries is the rise in hospital cases, more than the first wave and above all in intensive care. This could push our health service to the limit,” Asturias regional president Adrian Barbón told a press conference.

However, Spain’s health minister Salvador Illa refused the region permission to impose a full lockdown, saying authorities in Asturias should wait to see the effects of a curfew and other restrictions imposed under the state of emergency.

Dr. Rafael Bengoa, co-founder of Bilbao’s Institute for Health and Strategy, predicted Spain would impose a home lockdown within two weeks because the rate of infection was not slowing down.

“With the current measures, they are not lowering the infection rates, and it is necessary to go to the next level, a March-April type confinement,” he told Catalunya Radio on Sunday.

(This story corrects to remove word “daily” from headline and first sentence)

(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Bernadette Baum)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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New Russian infections soar; UK, Germany widen testing

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Coronavirus infections hit a new high this week in Russia, while Germany and the U.K. announced plans to expand virus testing as European nations battled rapidly increasing infections and hospitalizations that strained health care systems.

Across Europe, countries have been re-introducing restrictions to get ahead of a virus that has rampaged across the globe, causing more than 1.2 million deaths — over 270,000 of them in Europe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

New coronavirus restrictions took effect Tuesday in Austria and Greece, following a partial coronavirus shutdown in Germany on Monday and tighter rules in Italy, France, Kosovo and Croatia. Residents in England also face a near-total lockdown beginning Thursday, although schools and universities will stay open.

Infections have spiked in Russia, where authorities on Tuesday reported 18.648 new infections, bringing their total to over 18,000 daily cases for the fifth straight day, much higher than the record of over 11,000 daily infections in the spring.


Russia has the world’s fourth-highest coronavirus caseload of more than 1.6 million and has reported over 28,000 deaths in the pandemic.

The country lifted most virus-related restrictions this summer and officials have said the health care system is able to cope. However, alarming reports have surfaced in recent weeks about overwhelmed Russian hospitals, drug shortages and inundated medical workers.

In Britain, the government plans a new COVID-19 testing program in Liverpool, offering regular testing to anyone living and working in the city of 500,000 in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

“These more advanced tests will help identify infectious individuals who are not displaying symptoms … so they can self-isolate and prevent the virus from spreading,” the Department of Health said.

The trial in Liverpool, which has one of the highest infection rates in England with more than 410 cases per 100,000 people, is seen as a test of how Britain might roll out mass testing across the country.

Germany said it is bulk-buying millions of antigen tests, which produce rapid results, to avoid banning visitors to nursing homes and preventing the anguish to residents and their relatives that such isolation caused in the spring. Nursing homes will receive up to 20 free monthly tests per resident, which can be used to test patients, staff and visiting relatives who might be unwitting carriers of COVID-19.

The antigen tests look for specific protein on the virus, but experts have said they were less accurate than the standard PCR test, which can detect even traces of the virus.

France reported 410 virus-related deaths in hospitals on Monday, the highest single-day rise since April. The country is reporting tens of thousands of new infections per day and COVID-19 patients now occupy 73% of France’s intensive care beds, a rapidly rising number that prompted the government to impose a new month-long lockdown.

New restrictions came into effect in Austria, hours after an attack in Vienna on people enjoying the last few hours before bars and restaurants closed left

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Georgia coronavirus infections still rising, but more slowly

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia is nearing 8,000 deaths from COVID-19 as infections from the novel coronavirus continue to rise.

The broadest measure of COVID-19 cases, which includes rapid antigen tests as well as the more precise genetic tests, shows the number of confirmed and probable cases was 8.5% higher in the week that ended Friday compared with the week before, according to a report issued Monday by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In one good sign, though, the number of cases and hospitalizations rose more slowly last week than the week before.

The 7-day rolling average of new cases detected through only genetic tests in Georgia was nearly 1,600 on Monday, 38% higher than at the recent low on Oct. 8. More than 1,400 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Monday, up 12% from the recent low in October.

Nearly 363,000 people in Georgia have been confirmed to have the illness as of Monday, and 7,999 confirmed deaths have been recorded. The average number of deaths recorded has been falling in recent weeks, but deaths typically come only after new cases are detected and people are hospitalized. While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.

Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife are among those in quarantine after being exposed to the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state issued guidance saying those who have tested positive for the virus. The agencies say anyone who is sick or in quarantine should inform poll workers when they arrive at a polling place. Such people are supposed to wear a mask, stay 6 feet (2 meters) from others and clean hands before and after voting.

The share of positive tests rose to 7.3% on Monday in Georgia. Experts say that if more than 5% of tests are coming back positive, it suggests that too few tests are being done and many infections may be going undetected. The increasing positivity rate could also be affected by a decline in recent days in genetic tests for the virus, considered the most accurate.


State Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey said Oct. 7 that the state was planning to include positive rapid antigen tests in its daily report, but Georgia has not yet done so.

The state’s report on Monday listed 52 high transmission counties, where the positivity rate has been above 10% in the last two weeks and the number of new cases was above 100 per 100,000 residents during that time. High transmission counties include those that are home to Athens, Carrollton, Dalton, Rome, Valdosta and Warner Robins, as well as the south suburban Atlanta counties of Clayton and Henry.

New cases and hospitalizations in Georgia remain at less than half their July peaks, when the state was ranked worst in the nation. Because the respiratory illness is now spreading so rapidly in other regions, Georgia ranks only 40th among

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Georgia Coronavirus Infections Still Rising, but More Slowly | Georgia News

By JEFF AMY, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia is nearing 8,000 deaths from COVID-19 as infections from the novel coronavirus continue to rise.

The broadest measure of COVID-19 cases, which includes rapid antigen tests as well as the more precise genetic tests, shows the number of confirmed and probable cases was 8.5% higher in the week that ended Friday compared with the week before, according to a report issued Monday by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

In one good sign, though, the number of cases and hospitalizations rose more slowly last week than the week before.

The 7-day rolling average of new cases detected through only genetic tests in Georgia was nearly 1,600 on Monday, 38% higher than at the recent low on Oct. 8. More than 1,400 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Monday, up 12% from the recent low in October.

Nearly 363,000 people in Georgia have been confirmed to have the illness as of Monday, and 7,999 confirmed deaths have been recorded. The average number of deaths recorded has been falling in recent weeks, but deaths typically come only after new cases are detected and people are hospitalized. While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.

Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife are among those in quarantine after being exposed to the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state issued guidance saying those who have tested positive for the virus. The agencies say anyone who is sick or in quarantine should inform poll workers when they arrive at a polling place. Such people are supposed to wear a mask, stay 6 feet (2 meters) from others and clean hands before and after voting.

The share of positive tests rose to 7.3% on Monday in Georgia. Experts say that if more than 5% of tests are coming back positive, it suggests that too few tests are being done and many infections may be going undetected. The increasing positivity rate could also be affected by a decline in recent days in genetic tests for the virus, considered the most accurate.

State Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey said Oct. 7 that the state was planning to include positive rapid antigen tests in its daily report, but Georgia has not yet done so.

The state’s report on Monday listed 52 high transmission counties, where the positivity rate has been above 10% in the last two weeks and the number of new cases was above 100 per 100,000 residents during that time. High transmission counties include those that are home to Athens, Carrollton, Dalton, Rome, Valdosta and Warner Robins, as well as the south suburban Atlanta counties of Clayton and Henry.

New cases and hospitalizations in Georgia remain at less than half their July peaks, when the state was ranked worst in the nation. Because the respiratory illness is now spreading so rapidly in other regions,

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L.A. County reports 1,590 coronavirus cases, 4 deaths amid rise in Southern California infections

Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 1,590 new cases of the coronavirus and four related deaths.



a person sitting on a bed: A masked voter works on his ballot at Azusa Women's Club. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)


© Provided by The LA Times
A masked voter works on his ballot at Azusa Women’s Club. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The numbers brought the county’s total to 309,197 cases and 7,074 deaths.

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There were 799 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals on Friday, with 28% in intensive care, officials said. Though hospitalizations have increased slightly, they remain far below the 2,220-plus patients seen during the peak of the outbreak in July.

Still, many Southern California communities are reporting increases in the number of cases recorded each day, a concerning trend that has some officials worried that transmission of the virus could be on the rise.

In order to determine when a county can move to the next phase of reopening under California’s four-tier plan, the state monitors how many cases have been reported per 100,000 residents over a recent seven-day period. In larger counties, the rate is adjusted to account for how much testing is being done.

L.A. County’s adjusted case rate increased last week to eight per 100,000 residents, from 7.6 the week before.

In Orange County, which reported 233 new coronavirus cases and one death Sunday, the case rate ticked up to 5.1 from 4.6 the week before. Riverside County reported its most recent adjusted case rate at 10.1, up from 9.1 the week before. And San Bernardino County reported an adjusted case rate of 11.9, up from 10.9.

L.A., Riverside and San Bernardino counties all remain in the purple tier, the most restrictive, meaning risk of transmission remains widespread, and most nonessential businesses are closed for indoor operations. To move into the next tier, red, a county must have an adjusted rate of no more than seven cases per 100,000 residents.

Orange County is classified within the red tier. In order to move into the less-restrictive orange tier, which means that the risk of transmission is considered moderate and some indoor business operations can resume with modifications, the county must reduce its adjusted case rate to four cases per 100,000 residents.

It’s not clear what is driving the increase in cases in Southern California. Some officials have blamed parties as likely contributors, particularly gatherings celebrating the recent Lakers and Dodgers wins.

The trend is also playing out elsewhere across the United States, which on Thursday broke the single-day record for the highest number of coronavirus cases, then did so again Friday.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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US shatters daily coronavirus record with nearly 90,000 new infections

The US has shattered the daily coronavirus record, with almost 90,000 new infections reported on Thursday and close to 1,000 deaths, as the country surged past a world-topping 9m cases and experts warned of death rates more than doubling by mid-January.



a person wearing a costume: Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP

The sobering data and scientific outlook show a pandemic veering further out of control in America even as the president and his son hammered a public message dismissing the grim realities.

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On Friday, the total number of cases in the US hit 9,018,000, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. So far, 228,677 people have died in the country, the highest figure in the world by a significant margin.

The US recorded its highest one-day total of new coronavirus infections of the pandemic, with 88,521 new cases reported on Thursday – a rise of 9,540 on the previous day. The death toll for the 24-hour period was 971.

Hospitalisations are soaring in all but 11 states, according to the Covid Tracking Project, with more than 46,000 people in hospital on Thursday and a number of states setting up overflow field hospitals and governors sending military helpers.

Donald Trump responded to the surge with a Friday morning tweet blaming case numbers on increased testing. “More Testing equals more Cases. We have best testing. Deaths WAY DOWN. Hospitals have great additional capacity! Doing much better than Europe. Therapeutics working!”



a person wearing a costume: Hospitalisations are soaring in all but 11 states, according to the Covid Tracking Project, with more than 46,000 people in hospital on Thursday.


© Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP
Hospitalisations are soaring in all but 11 states, according to the Covid Tracking Project, with more than 46,000 people in hospital on Thursday.

His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, said in an interview on Fox that deaths were “almost nothing”.

Related: Donald Trump Jr and father play down Covid deaths as daily toll nears 1,000

But experts warned that conditions are likely to worsen sharply going into winter and predicted that death rates could more than double by mid-January.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University School of Medicine said in its latest forecast that the death toll could hit 514,000 by the middle of January and added it was most likely that by that time 2,250 Americans will be dying every day from Covid-19, more than twice the current rate.

“The fall/winter surge should lead to a daily death toll that is approximately three times higher than now by mid-January. Hospital systems, particularly ICUs, are expected to be under extreme stress in December and January in 18 states,” it said.

The president continued to insist that the US was “rounding the turn”, arguing against taking stricter measures to combat the pandemic and told a campaign rally on Saturday “you don’t see death”.

“This is the hardest point in this pandemic right now – the next two months,” Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told CNN.

But with the election just days away, cases are soaring in every competitive state. In 13 potential swing states the weekly average

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