Update: Measles Cases Keep Climbing; What Are You Doing to Help?

Update: Measles Cases Keep Climbing; What Are You Doing to Help?

When we last updated you on the measles outbreak in the United States, there were 465 cases spread across 19 states. At the time, that was the highest number of U.S. cases since 2000, when measles was declared “eliminated.” Well, the number of cases now sits at 839—a jump of 374 cases—in 23 states, all diagnosed between January 1 and May 10 of this year. One challenge: The potential to contract measles isn’t limited to …

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Remember That Study About Patient Preference for the White Coat? Here’s Another Thought

Remember That Study About Patient Preference for the White Coat? Here’s Another Thought

We told you about a study that asked patients to weigh in on their preferences for how healthcare providers should dress. The choices ranged from office-casual to traditional business attire to the clinical white coat with a tie, or with a dress shirt for women. White-coat-and-tie or dress shirt proved to be the preferred attire because it conveyed both business formality and clinical authority. An article just published in The New York Times has now …

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Be Alert for Hep A Cases, Especially in Certain States

Be Alert for Hep A Cases, Especially in Certain States

The ongoing (and building) measles outbreak is getting most of the headlines, but simultaneous to that hepatitis A cases have continued to mount well into the thousands. Since the first confirmed case in 2016, more than 15,000 infections have occurred across the country; some 8,500 have required hospitalization. Florida has been hit especially hard, with 883 cases reported so far this year. That’s more than the total for all of 2017 and 2018 combined. Virginia …

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CDC: Opioid Prescriptions Covering 4 to 7 Days Should Suffice for Acute Pain

CDC: Opioid Prescriptions Covering 4 to 7 Days Should Suffice for Acute Pain

As we continue to see success in lowering use of opioid drugs in managing acute pain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers data suggesting what might be appropriate parameters for their use when they’re truly necessary. Based on 13,440 patients covered by a large U.S. commercial insurer in 2014, and who filled an opioid prescription within 7 days of a primary care clinic visit, an initial prescription for 4–7 days was found to …

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Update: Measles Cases Continue to Escalate in More States

Update: Measles Cases Continue to Escalate in More States

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the number of measles cases continues to grow in the United States, and that more states are seeing cases than was previously known. From January 1 to April 4 of this year, 465 cases were confirmed in 19 states—all told, the second highest number of cases since measles was declared “eliminated” in 2000. The CDC cautioned that the case count is preliminary, so the …

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Does Offering PrEP Services Increase Risk for ‘Other’ Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Does Offering PrEP Services Increase Risk for ‘Other’ Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV infection is controversial. Proponents hail it as a long-overdue opportunity to save lives and stem a public health crisis. Some urgent care providers are exploring whether it’s a viable opportunity both clinically and economically. Then again, some clinicians and public health officials believe offering PrEP de-incentivizes patients from using safe-sex practices and making healthy sexual decisions. A newly published article in the Journal of the American Medical Association raises another …

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Warning: There’s Danger in Discontinuing Opioids Too Abruptly

Warning: There’s Danger in Discontinuing Opioids Too Abruptly

Urgent care providers have gotten the message that rampant opioid prescribing has led to a public health crisis rooted in addiction and death. And it’s likely new prescriptions have dropped considerably as a result. However, knee-jerk attempts to stop taking them immediately also poses the threat of “serious harm” to patients, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Going cold turkey or dropping existing doses too suddenly has led to withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, …

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CDC: Resistant Candida auris is a ‘Serious Global Health Threat’; Is Your State Getting Hit?

CDC: Resistant Candida auris is a ‘Serious Global Health Threat’; Is Your State Getting Hit?

In response to mounting cases across the globe, this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called Candida auris an “emerging fungus” that poses a “serious global threat.” It spreads in healthcare settings via contact with exposed surfaces and person-to-person contact. It’s also resistant to some or all antifungal drugs, according to the CDC, making it an especially vexing concern. The most common symptoms include chills and fever that do not respond to antibiotic …

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Telemedicine ‘Visits’ Are More Likely to Result in Guideline-Noncompliant Antibiotic Prescriptions

Telemedicine ‘Visits’ Are More Likely to Result in Guideline-Noncompliant Antibiotic Prescriptions

A study just published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that the rate of antibiotic prescribing for children with symptoms of acute respiratory infections is higher in connection with direct-to-consumer telemedicine than for those children whose parents take them to an urgent care center or primary care provider. Unfortunately, only 59% of those prescriptions were in accord with existing guidelines, the authors reported; the rate of “compliant” prescriptions in urgent care and primary care visits topped …

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E Coli Outbreak Spreads to Five States

E Coli Outbreak Spreads to Five States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—along with the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and numerous state departments of health—are investigating a growing outbreak of Shiga-producing E coli. Cases have turned up in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia as of April 4. So far 72 people have been infected; there have been multiple hospitalizations, but no deaths or cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have occurred, to …

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