I caught up with Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last week, prior to his address at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, DC. Other media outlets joined in later. Here are some takeaways from his speech on antibiotic resistance, as well as our conversation.
For the first time since the swine flu pandemic in 2009, influenza A virus pdm09 (pH1N1) predominated in the U.S. during the 2013-2014 flu season. And while this season saw overall lower levels of outpatient illness and death than in those predominated by fellow A virus H3N2, for older adults it was comparatively more severe, a CDC report found.
With HIV-infection rates no longer going down and condom use continuing to fall, U.S. health officials are recommending that Americans at high risk of infection take a pill: Gilead Sciences' Truvada, an AIDS fighter that's the only drug approved for HIV prevention.
Vaccination against the flu reduces a child's risk of intensive care hospitalization related to the flu by 74%, according to a CDC study published recently in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Donald Trump has once again pushed a debunked link between vaccines and autism, this time weighing in after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report indicating that the number of children in America with the disorder has jumped from 1 in 88 two years ago to 1 in 68.
In the decade after Merck began selling its chickenpox vaccine in the U.S. the proportion of infants immunized against the virus rose to almost 90%. Yet immunized kids continued to catch chickenpox and the virus even killed two people who had received the vaccine. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on the success of the strategy it adopted to prevent such cases.
While polio has been eradicated across much of the earth, other viruses from the same family continue to circulate. Many infections are mild or even asymptomatic, but occasionally the viruses can cause the paralysis associated with polio. Over the past 18 months, Stanford University researchers have identified 20 possible cases in California.
The National Adult Vaccination Program and others have proposed strategies to raise the proportion of adults getting vaccinated against pneumococcal disease, shingles and hepatitis B, but the latest data shows little change in immunization rates.
The U.S. childhood immunization schedule is overwhelmingly made up of injectables. Yet in among the vaccines for measles, mumps and other diseases are two orally delivered products--GlaxoSmithKline's and Merck's rotavirus vaccines. The rarity of oral vaccines means providers have less experience delivering them, but does this mean there are more errors?
Blogs and social media chatter often paint liberals, particularly Whole Foods-shopping, "earth mother" types, as the lead proponents of the anti-vaccine movement. Yet this view has been contradicted by surveys in the past, and was once again revealed to be flawed by data published this week.