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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.
Bristol-Myers Squibb to present new immunotherapy study data at ASCO Annual Meeting

Bristol-Myers Squibb to present new immunotherapy study data at ASCO Annual Meeting

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company today announced that new data from studies investigating its immunotherapies in adjuvant and advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) will be presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago from May 30-June 3. [More]
Research roundup: Compounding pharmacies; marketplace details; changes in insurance coverage

Research roundup: Compounding pharmacies; marketplace details; changes in insurance coverage

Outraged over a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak traced back to Framingham, Massachusetts-based drug compounder New England Compounding Center (NECC) that left sixty-four people dead and more than 700 sickened, Congress passed the Compounding Quality Act . [More]
Roundup: Battles fought over Lyme disease, autism and abortion

Roundup: Battles fought over Lyme disease, autism and abortion

In Texas, abortion providers file suit to block a state rule that could shut down many of the state's remaining clinics, while lawmakers in Vermont and N.Y. seek to immunize doctors who prescribe long-term antibiotics for patients with lasting symptoms attributed to Lyme disease. [More]
First Edition: April 3, 2014

First Edition: April 3, 2014

Today's headlines include reports on how Paul Ryan's budget is playing on Capitol Hill as well as news that the Obama administration is releasing a trove of data on physician services and payments. [More]
New cluster of viral meningitis cases found among Los Angeles area gay men

New cluster of viral meningitis cases found among Los Angeles area gay men

In response to reports of a new cluster of viral meningitis cases found among Los Angeles area gay men and men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials are expected to release an official statement later today in which they will recommend that HIV-positive MSM and high-risk HIV-negative MSM be vaccinated against the infection. [More]
Low dose injections of artificial properdin provides protection against septic diseases in mice

Low dose injections of artificial properdin provides protection against septic diseases in mice

Breakthrough MRC-funded study from University of Leicester shows low dose injections of artificial properdin provides substantial protection against septic diseases in mice [More]
Low dose injections of artificial properdin provide protection against septic diseases

Low dose injections of artificial properdin provide protection against septic diseases

Researchers at the University of Leicester have produced an artificial version of a naturally occurring protein, properdin, which has been found to successfully combat bacterial pneumonia and meningitis when tested in mice. [More]
Scientist receives $147,157 grant from NIH to find cure for infectious disease

Scientist receives $147,157 grant from NIH to find cure for infectious disease

A Clemson University scientist was awarded a two-year, $147,157 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, to find a cure for an infectious disease. [More]
Report: Spending on health care for children increased between 2009 and 2012

Report: Spending on health care for children increased between 2009 and 2012

Spending on health care for children covered by employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) increased between 2009 and 2012, rising an average 5.5 percent a year, with more dollars spent on boys than girls, and higher spending on infants and toddlers (ages 0-3) than any other children's age group, finds a new report released today by the Health Care Cost Institute. Per capita spending on children reached $2,437 in 2012, a $363 increase from 2009. The study shows a growth in prescription use by children through age 18, as well as a rise in the number of teens being admitted for mental health and substance use (MHSU) treatment. [More]
Nurses in emergency care must be trained to recognise symptoms of meningococcal septicaemia

Nurses in emergency care must be trained to recognise symptoms of meningococcal septicaemia

Nurses working in emergency care environments must be trained to recognise the atypical signs and symptoms of meningococcal septicaemia. [More]
Researchers identify novel strategies to develop more efficient vaccines against encapsulated bacteria

Researchers identify novel strategies to develop more efficient vaccines against encapsulated bacteria

Researchers have discovered the presence of a novel subtype of innate lymphoid cells in human spleen essential for the production of antibodies. This discovery, published in the prestigious journal Nature Immunology, clears the path to the identification of novel strategies to develop more efficient vaccines against encapsulated bacteria, considered highly virulent. [More]
BioFire Diagnostics submits FilmArray GI Panel to FDA for 510(k) clearance

BioFire Diagnostics submits FilmArray GI Panel to FDA for 510(k) clearance

BioFire Diagnostics, LLC today announced that it has submitted the FilmArray Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 510(k) clearance. The comprehensive FilmArray GI Panel tests for over 20 common bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause infectious diarrhea. [More]
Invasive pneumococcal disease in Taiwan on the wane, but threats remain

Invasive pneumococcal disease in Taiwan on the wane, but threats remain

The incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in Taiwan has decreased significantly in recent years, study findings indicate. [More]
Drug used for treating breast cancer also kills fungal disease

Drug used for treating breast cancer also kills fungal disease

Tamoxifen, a drug currently used to treat breast cancer, also kills a fungus that causes a deadly brain infection in immunocompromised patients. The findings, which could lead to new treatments for a disease that kills more HIV/AIDS patients than tuberculosis, appear in mBio-, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM.) [More]
Researchers shed new light on pain associated with bacterial infections

Researchers shed new light on pain associated with bacterial infections

Components in the outer wall of bacteria directly activate pain sensors, triggering immediate pain and inflammatory responses. This finding by a multinational team of researchers led by Professor Karel Talavera (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Professor FĂ©lix Viana (Institute of Neuroscience, Spain) sheds new light on pain associated with bacterial infections and reveals a new target for drugs designed to treat them. [More]
Study reveals high prevalence of TB infection among young children

Study reveals high prevalence of TB infection among young children

A small study by investigators from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College in India reveals high prevalence of tuberculosis infection among young children, troubling rates of disseminated disease and alarming patterns of drug resistance. [More]
Longer reads: Hospice drains Medicare; false Obamacare 'horror stories;' growing up without vaccines

Longer reads: Hospice drains Medicare; false Obamacare 'horror stories;' growing up without vaccines

Hospice patients are expected to die: The treatment focuses on providing comfort to the terminally ill, not finding a cure. To enroll a patient, two doctors certify a life expectancy of six months or less. But over the past decade, the number of "hospice survivors" in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren't actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer (Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating, 12/26). [More]
AHF opens new Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn in partnership with GMAD

AHF opens new Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn in partnership with GMAD

AIDS Healthcare Foundation will open its newest Men's Wellness Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday in partnership with local nonprofit Gay Men of African Descent. [More]
State highlights: N.C. officials detail Medicaid personal info mishap; comparing childbirth at Mass. hospitals; fixing Fla.'s pharmacy law 'glitch'

State highlights: N.C. officials detail Medicaid personal info mishap; comparing childbirth at Mass. hospitals; fixing Fla.'s pharmacy law 'glitch'

North Carolina health officials have clarified precisely when they first learned that cards with the personal information of nearly 49,000 children receiving Medicaid benefits had been mailed to the wrong addresses. [More]
State highlights: Mass. compounding pharmacy agrees to $100M victim settlement over meningitis outbreak; Texas grand jury clears late-term abortion provider

State highlights: Mass. compounding pharmacy agrees to $100M victim settlement over meningitis outbreak; Texas grand jury clears late-term abortion provider

The Massachusetts pharmacy whose tainted steroid injections were blamed for a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis has agreed to pay more than $100 million to victims and their families, according to lawyers involved in a tentative settlement. [More]