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Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. People sometimes refer to it as spinal meningitis. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacterium is important because the severity of illness and the treatment differ. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, while bacterial meningitis can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disability. For bacterial meningitis, it is also important to know which type of bacteria is causing the meningitis because antibiotics can prevent some types from spreading and infecting other people. Before the 1990s, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, but new vaccines being given to all children as part of their routine immunizations have reduced the occurrence of invasive disease due to H. influenzae. Today, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.
Immunosignaturing holds promise for accurate diagnosis of Valley Fever

Immunosignaturing holds promise for accurate diagnosis of Valley Fever

On July 5, 2011, a massive wall of dust, ("haboob," in Arabic), blanketed Phoenix, Arizona, creating an awesome spectacle, (or stubborn nuisance, depending on your perspective). Dust storms are a common occurrence in the arid desert environments of the American Southwest. [More]
Study reveals new invasion mechanism of Enterovirus 71

Study reveals new invasion mechanism of Enterovirus 71

A new study determines glycosylation and pH-dependent conformational changes of virus receptor SCARB2 as crucial for EV71 attachment, entry and uncoating. [More]
Cryptococcus gattii evolves as it spreads to temperate climates

Cryptococcus gattii evolves as it spreads to temperate climates

Cryptococcus gattii, a virulent fungus that has invaded the Pacific Northwest is highly adaptive and warrants global "public health vigilance," according to a study by an international team led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute. [More]
Scientists uncover mechanisms that can protect against lethal bacteria

Scientists uncover mechanisms that can protect against lethal bacteria

An important development in understanding how the bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia remains harmlessly in the nose and throat has been discovered at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health. [More]
FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy status to Novartis' CTL019 for treatment of relapsed/refractory ALL

FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy status to Novartis' CTL019 for treatment of relapsed/refractory ALL

Novartis announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Therapy status to CTL019, an investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy for the treatment of pediatric and adult patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r ALL). [More]
Viewpoints: Court complicates women's health care; decouple work and coverage; Cuomo's fight against AIDS

Viewpoints: Court complicates women's health care; decouple work and coverage; Cuomo's fight against AIDS

The 5-4 decision, which runs 89 pages (including a 35-page dissent), is a messy, sprawling affair. The majority insists that its reach is narrow, while the dissent holds otherwise. What's clear is that the ruling will needlessly complicate not only constitutional and corporate law but also -- at least as significant -- health care for women who work at such companies (6/30). [More]
Ralphs Pharmacies continue to offer Tdap vaccinations for whooping cough in Southern California

Ralphs Pharmacies continue to offer Tdap vaccinations for whooping cough in Southern California

As the number of pertussis cases, also known as whooping cough, reaches epidemic proportions in California, Ralphs Pharmacies continue to offer Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccinations at its 85 in-store pharmacies throughout Southern California. [More]
Investigators isolate protein that is responsible for fungus' ability to cross blood-brain barrier

Investigators isolate protein that is responsible for fungus' ability to cross blood-brain barrier

In a remarkable series of experiments on a fungus that causes cryptococcal meningitis, a deadly infection of the membranes that cover the spinal cord and brain, investigators at UC Davis have isolated a protein that appears to be responsible for the fungus' ability to cross from the bloodstream into the brain. [More]

New device designed to detect foodborne bacteria

A new device designed to sample and detect foodborne bacteria is being trialled by scientists at the University of Southampton. [More]
Canadian invasive pneumococcal disease outbreak characterised

Canadian invasive pneumococcal disease outbreak characterised

Canadian scientists have reported details of an outbreak of serotype 12F invasive pneumococcal disease that occurred in Winnipeg between 2009 and 2011 and predominantly affected people who were homeless and/or engaged in illegal drug use. [More]
Researchers explain how meningitis-causing bacteria evade body's immune system

Researchers explain how meningitis-causing bacteria evade body's immune system

Every once in a while in the U.S., bacterial meningitis seems to crop up out of nowhere, claiming a young life. [More]
Biótica researchers develop automated laboratory system that rapidly detects E. coli bacterium

Biótica researchers develop automated laboratory system that rapidly detects E. coli bacterium

A Castellón-based biotechnology R&D project by Biótica has been successfully certified by the Centre for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI, in Spanish), of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. [More]
Depression is the leading cause of illness in adolescents, shows WHO's report

Depression is the leading cause of illness in adolescents, shows WHO's report

WHO's "Health for the world's adolescents" report reveals that depression is the predominant cause of illness and disability for both boys and girls aged 10 to 19 years. [More]
State highlights: Budget surplus in Calif., but higher Medi-Cal costs; court-ordered mental health care in Calif.; nurses' authority in Minn.

State highlights: Budget surplus in Calif., but higher Medi-Cal costs; court-ordered mental health care in Calif.; nurses' authority in Minn.

A selection of health policy stories from California, Minnesota, Georgia, Washington state, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Illinois and Maryland. [More]
Scientist wins 2014 Maurice Hilleman/Merck Award for developing vaccine against meningococcal disease

Scientist wins 2014 Maurice Hilleman/Merck Award for developing vaccine against meningococcal disease

Dan Granoff, MD, of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland's research arm CHORI, has been named the 2014 Maurice Hilleman/Merck Award Laureate by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). [More]
Luminex announces group B strep as fifth assay planned for launch menu of ARIES

Luminex announces group B strep as fifth assay planned for launch menu of ARIES

Luminex Corporation today announced that Group B Streptococcus (group B strep, GBS) is the fifth assay planned for the launch menu of its new sample-to-answer system, ARIES™. [More]
Global market for meningococcal vaccines expected to grow at CAGR of 14.9% from 2013 to 2019

Global market for meningococcal vaccines expected to grow at CAGR of 14.9% from 2013 to 2019

According to a new report published by Transparency Market Research "Meningococcal Vaccines Market (Polysaccharide, Conjugate, and Combination Vaccines, along with Pipeline Analysis) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 - 2019," the market for meningococcal vaccines was valued at USD 1.5 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach a value of USD 3.7 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 14.9% from 2013 to 2019. [More]
Humana's profit shrinks on higher expenses

Humana's profit shrinks on higher expenses

The insurer said it expects to add more customers to its Medicare Advantage and individual plan businesses. Meanwhile, a few hospitals say they are doing simple surgeries for some uninsured patients for free to keep their problems from turning into emergencies that would be more expensive to treat, and those who developed meningitis as a result of tainted products seek compensation. [More]
First Edition: May 7, 2014

First Edition: May 7, 2014

Today's headlines include a story noting that insurers say about 80 percent of new enrollees have paid their first premiums for new insurance coverage under the health law. [More]
Researchers discover genetic risk factor for premature birth

Researchers discover genetic risk factor for premature birth

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a genetic risk factor for premature birth. [More]