Be Aware: Another Multistate Outbreak Is Claiming Lives

Be Aware: Another Multistate Outbreak Is Claiming Lives

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in the midst of investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections that have sickened dozens—and left two people dead. Cases have occurred in 13 states, to date, with most patients requiring hospitalization. No specific source has been identified. Listeria symptoms vary greatly by patient and site of infection, but common complaints include fever and diarrhea similar to other food-borne infections. Pregnant women who are infected tend to …

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What’s the Most Prevalent, Multistate Outbreak NOT Making Headlines?

What’s the Most Prevalent, Multistate Outbreak NOT Making Headlines?

Measles and chicken pox, soon to be joined once again by influenza, seem to get all the headlines but right now there’s a less talked-about infectious organism wreaking havoc literally from coast-to-coast. As we speak, nearly 1,700 new cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported in 33 states since May 1. Worse, the pace of the outbreak is picking up steam as the weeks fly by. As recently as July 23, there were “only” 580 cases …

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Remind Antivaxx Patients that Flu Shots Can Save Them from Cardiovascular Death

Remind Antivaxx Patients that Flu Shots Can Save Them from Cardiovascular Death

It may seem like we just finished the last flu season, but the statistical reality is that the next one is upon us. That means it’s time for you to start beating the vaccination drum again. You can expect the same misinformed objections from patients—the vaccine doesn’t work or can actually give you the flu; vaccines cause autism in children; the flu is no worse than a bad cold…. That last one may be the …

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AHRQ Says It Needs Your Help to Improve Antibiotic Use

AHRQ Says It Needs Your Help to Improve Antibiotic Use

By now most Americans have gotten the message that inappropriate use of antibiotics is dangerous. And yet, patients persist in begging for a prescription when a clinician tells them they have a viral infection for which an antibiotic isn’t indicated. No one is more of aware of this than the urgent care provider, who is likely to hear those pleas multiple times every day. So, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is inviting …

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Patients May Be Reading About the ‘5 Vaccines Every Adult Needs’; Be Ready to Provide Them

Patients May Be Reading About the ‘5 Vaccines Every Adult Needs’; Be Ready to Provide Them

It likely wasn’t by design, but Prevention magazine just ran an article that could drive countless patients into their nearest urgent care centers in search of vaccines they might have missed getting. The article certainly is blunt about the possible consequences of not getting those vaccines, telling readers that “Vaccines save lives, and not just young ones.” With the guidance of consulting physicians, Prevention lists vaccines for influenza, tetanus, shingles, human papillomavirus (HPV), and varicella …

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Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Are Taking a Toll in Multiple States

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Are Taking a Toll in Multiple States

Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have seen confirmed cases of West Nile virus so far this year—206 cases and counting. On a much smaller scale, four patients have been diagnosed with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Massachusetts. One died, underscoring the severity of the disease. What both sets of data share is that they reflect the dangers of mosquitos to humans in the United States. Given the sudden onset of symptoms, the facts …

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What You Need to Know About Parental Consent for HPV Vaccine

What You Need to Know About Parental Consent for HPV Vaccine

It’s believed that widespread administration of human papillomavirus vaccine could prevent roughly 33,700 cancers annually. At the same time, there are two irrefutable facts that speak in favor of vaccination: 1) more than 4,000 women die of cervical cancer each year, with HPV associated with almost every case, and 2) less than half of Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 are getting vaccinated. The disconnect isn’t in public awareness, though; it appears that parents …

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Flu Conundrum: The Season Looks to Be a Long One—but You Have Less Time to Vaccinate

Flu Conundrum: The Season Looks to Be a Long One—but You Have Less Time to Vaccinate

We may still be firmly entrenched in summer, but flu season is rearing its ugly head earlier than usual this year. Sporadic cases have popped up from Atlanta to San Diego already. Unfortunately, this coincides with federal health officials revealing there will be a shorter time frame in which people need to get their flu vaccine this year. The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization put off deciding on the “final” formulation …

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Warn Your Patients: The ‘Safer’ Cigarette Alternative Has Sickened People in 16 States

Warn Your Patients: The ‘Safer’ Cigarette Alternative Has Sickened People in 16 States

E-cigarettes and vaping were promoted by their marketers from the get-go as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco-packed cigarettes. Some companies have suggested their product can be helpful in helping people quit their dangerous addiction. It’s enough to remind one of the mid-20th Century, when licensed physicians were hired to assure American smokers that one brand was “safer” than another. We all know how that turned out. Now, over the past 2 months alone, respiratory …

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Think You’re Doing Enough to Curb Addiction in Your Community? Think Again

Think You’re Doing Enough to Curb Addiction in Your Community? Think Again

Despite the best efforts of many clinicians—including urgent care providers—to reduce incidence of opioid addiction and the death and shattered lives that follow in its wake, federal official are taking the unprecedented step of asking providers to screen every adult they see for illegal drug use. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says there is simply not enough being done by the very people who write prescriptions for potentially addictive drugs. So, they’re asking all …

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