August 1, 2012 |
Rabies is generally thought to be universally fatal, but new evidence suggests that is not always the case. A study in Peru suggests that some people -- admittedly a very small percentage of the population -- may have a natural resistance to the rabies virus that protects them from serious illness when they become infected. The results suggest that it may be possible to develop new ways to prevent and treat rabies. Most Americans associate rabies with dogs, but the virus is most commonly carried by bats. Experts estimate that rabies kills at least 55,000 people each year in Africa and Asia alone, and the disease appears to be on the rise in China, the former Soviet republics, and Central and South America.
July 27, 2012 |
Studies of a 15-year-old Incan girl who was sacrificed on an Argentine mountaintop 500 years ago show that she had a lung infection when she died, most likely tuberculosis, researchers reported this week. Two younger children who died with her did not have an infection, they said. The mummy, known as the Maiden, was discovered in 1999 about 25 yards from the summit of Llullaiaco, a high-elevation volcano in the province of Salta, Argentina, by archaeologists led by Johan Reinhard and Constanza Ceruti of the Mountain Institute in Franklin, W.Va.
July 26, 2012 |
More than 30 years into the AIDS epidemic, a combination of safe-sex education and a new generation of pharmaceuticals has left many Americans convinced that HIV/AIDS is a problem that has been, if not solved, at least addressed. But that's certainly not true in the American South, which accounts for nearly 50% of all new HIV infections in the United States. The South has the highest rate of AIDS deaths of any U.S. region. It also has the largest numbers of adolescents and adults living with HIV and the fewest resources to fight the epidemic.
July 16, 2012 |
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Truvada for prevention of HIV infection in HIV-negative people who are at high risk of contracting the disease, the first time a drug has been approved for reducing that risk. The approval follows on the heels of three studies published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine which showed that daily use of the drug could reduce transmission of the virus by as much as 75% in heterosexual couples. The drug has also been shown to be effective in gay couples.
July 11, 2012 |
Women who get urinary tract infections - and that's nearly half of all women -- likely know this already: Try cranberry. It's a treatment that's been passed around among women for a long time to prevent the recurrence of this annoying infection. Unlike some folk remedies, this one has gained credence through the years from the experts - the medical experts, that is. And a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reinforces the use of cranberry products to prevent UTIs - one of the most common bacterial infections among adult women, with about 7 million doctor visits a year in the United States alone.
July 9, 2012 |
Fido the dog and Ginger the cat need not worry about being replaced by a new baby - in fact, they could be helping parents raise healthier children. A new study finds that children who lived with dogs or cats during their first year of life got sick less frequently than kids from pet-free zones. The study, published in Monday's edition of the journal Pediatrics, provides fresh evidence for the counterintuitive notion that an overly clean environment may not be ideal for babies.
June 27, 2012 |
It's July 9, and there's no email in your usually frenetic Web-based inbox. Your friends on Facebook and Twitter have fallen silent. Searches are fruitless, and the music has stopped on Pandora and Spotify. Your convenient home office setup has been reduced to the small screen of your smartphone. Not exactly a digital doomsday scenario. But, you could be cut off from the wealth of information, productivity and community of the Web if you are one of the 300,000 Windows users affected by malware that surreptitiously redirected your Internet excursions.
June 20, 2012 |
Score one for man's best friend. For folks who start to sneeze and wheeze as soon as they enter a dog owner's home, new research may come as a surprise: Dust from households with dogs may help protect against an asthma-related respiratory infection, according to results presented Tuesday at this year's General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Previous research has pointed to the idea that sharing space with cats and dogs could actually be beneficial to the immune system.
June 5, 2012 |
Three patients at a Los Angeles County dialysis center developed serious infections last summer because of improper cleaning and disinfection of a reusable medical device called a dialyzer, researchers reported Tuesday. The dialyzer -- in effect, an artificial kidney -- removes toxic substances from the blood in patients whose own kidneys are not functioning. All three infections were traced to one machine, and the center has decided to stop using that type of machine, which is more difficult to disinfect than others.
May 9, 2012 |
One in every six cancer deaths worldwide is caused by preventable infections, a total of 1.5 million deaths yearly that could be halted by widespread vaccination programs, researchers reported Wednesday. Since 1990, that number has grown by about half a million, suggesting that vaccination programs are losing ground in the battle rather than gaining it. The vast majority of the cases are caused by three viruses and a bacterium, which are the leading causes of gastric, liver and cervical cancers.