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Pneumonia is a leading cause of death and hospitalization, costing health care systems billions of dollars and an estimated 600,000 adult deaths worldwide each year. Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and the term describes a group of illnesses, including invasive infections, such as bacteremia/sepsis and meningitis, as well as pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infections. Although all age groups may be affected, the highest rate of pneumococcal disease occurs in young children and older adults. In addition, persons suffering from a wide range of chronic conditions (eg, diabetes, cardiovascular disease) and immune deficiencies are at increased risk.
Research roundup: Home health nurses' workloads; readmissions at the VA; SHOP choices

Research roundup: Home health nurses' workloads; readmissions at the VA; SHOP choices

In anticipation of next year's premium announcements and given some information already made public, concerns have surfaced about the potential for double-digit percent increases in nongroup and small-group health insurance premiums. This analysis shows that, although average annual increases in small-group premiums over the past 13 years averaged roughly 5.5 percent, double-digit average premium increases are common for states and large metropolitan areas. [More]
CDC urges all adults to get flu vaccination

CDC urges all adults to get flu vaccination

Influenza vaccination coverage estimates show an encouraging upward trend overall, but coverage among healthy 18 to 64 year-olds has yet to top 40 percent, according to new data announced at a news conference held today by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. [More]
S. pneumoniae drug susceptibility tracked in Japan

S. pneumoniae drug susceptibility tracked in Japan

A 12-year survey of the antimicrobial susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates in Miyagi Prefecture in Japan has identified important changes, including improved susceptibility to β-lactam antibiotics. [More]
Isis receives $4 million in milestone payment from Achaogen for initiation of plazomicin Phase 3 study

Isis receives $4 million in milestone payment from Achaogen for initiation of plazomicin Phase 3 study

Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has earned a $4 million milestone payment from Achaogen, Inc. associated with the initiation of a Phase 3 study of plazomicin in patients with serious multi-drug resistant (MDR), gram-negative bacterial infections. [More]
New UNICEF report points out that 2.8 million babies die each year during first 28 days of life

New UNICEF report points out that 2.8 million babies die each year during first 28 days of life

Child survival rates have increased dramatically since 1990, during which time the absolute number of under-five deaths has been slashed in half from 12.7 million to 6.3 million, according to a report released today by UNICEF. [More]
Zebrafish may hold key to unlocking a leading cause of respiratory diseases

Zebrafish may hold key to unlocking a leading cause of respiratory diseases

A small freshwater fish found in many tropical aquariums may hold the key to unlocking one of the leading causes of respiratory diseases in humans. [More]
MOVANTIK tablets get FDA approval for treatment of OIC in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

MOVANTIK tablets get FDA approval for treatment of OIC in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

Nektar Therapeutics reported today that partner AstraZeneca today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MOVANTIK (naloxegol) tablets as the first once-daily oral peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) medication for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC), in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. [More]
Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

This policy brief reports the findings of a systematic review conducted by the Community Health Innovations in Prevention for Seniors (CHIPS) project. ... Clinical preventive services such as colorectal cancer screening and pneumococcal immunization can help reduce rates of premature death and disability. Yet, many older adults are not receiving the full set of clinical preventive services that have been proven effective and are considered "high value" in terms of their costs per life saved. Rates are particularly low among racial and ethnic minority older adults compared to national goals. [More]
Novel virus could be source of severe respiratory disease in ball pythons

Novel virus could be source of severe respiratory disease in ball pythons

Researchers have identified a novel virus that could be the source of a severe, sometimes fatal respiratory disease that has been observed in captive ball pythons since the 1990s. The work is published this week in mBio-, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. [More]
Study reveals how stem cells work to improve lung function in ARDS

Study reveals how stem cells work to improve lung function in ARDS

A new study has revealed how stem cells work to improve lung function in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). [More]
SLU researchers work to prevent several serious infectious diseases

SLU researchers work to prevent several serious infectious diseases

Saint Louis University researchers are attacking influenza on multiple fronts as they search for a universal vaccine that protects people from the flu virus that often mutates year to year with deadly consequences. [More]
State highlights: Texas lawmaker proposes '3 strikes' for nursing homes

State highlights: Texas lawmaker proposes '3 strikes' for nursing homes

New Yorker Deadra Malloy was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, but she remained healthy for so long she wasn't completely convinced she was positive. [More]
FDA approves use of Menactra for booster vaccination against meningococcal disease

FDA approves use of Menactra for booster vaccination against meningococcal disease

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved use of Menactra® [Meningococcal (Groups A, C, Y and W-135) Polysaccharide Diphtheria Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine] for booster vaccination against meningococcal disease in persons 15 years through 55 years of age. [More]
Three Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals win 2014 Excellence Award for Quality Improvement in Hospitals

Three Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals win 2014 Excellence Award for Quality Improvement in Hospitals

Three Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals have been awarded the 2014 Excellence Award for Quality Improvement in Hospitals from the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, an independent, nonprofit health care quality improvement organization. [More]
3 billion people worldwide at risk of early death due to household air pollution

3 billion people worldwide at risk of early death due to household air pollution

Household air pollution, caused by the use of plant-based or coal fuel for cooking, heating, and lighting, is putting nearly three billion people worldwide at risk of ill health and early death, according to a new Commission, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. [More]
Type 2 diabetes adds to hospital mortality risk in bipolar patients

Type 2 diabetes adds to hospital mortality risk in bipolar patients

Type 2 diabetes is a major contributor to mortality in patients with bipolar disorder who are admitted to general hospitals, a study shows. [More]
Cepheid releases Xpert Flu/RSV XC for accurate determination of Flu A, Flu B and RSV infection

Cepheid releases Xpert Flu/RSV XC for accurate determination of Flu A, Flu B and RSV infection

Cepheid announced today the release of Xpert® Flu/RSV XC, an on-demand molecular test for rapid, accurate and reliable determination of Flu A, Flu B, and differentiation of RSV infection. [More]
‘Concerning’ rise in pneumococcus risk factors

‘Concerning’ rise in pneumococcus risk factors

Researchers report that the incidence of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection has fallen significantly in the USA in the past decade but describe a “concerning trend” whereby the baseline health status of those with serious pneumococcal disease has worsened. [More]
New blood test provides fast, accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis in children

New blood test provides fast, accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis in children

A new blood test provides a fast and accurate tool to diagnose tuberculosis in children, a new proof-of-concept study shows. The newly developed test (TAM-TB assay) is the first reliable immunodiagnostic assay to detect active tuberculosis in children. [More]
Wockhardt receives coveted QIDP status from FDA for WCK 771 and WCK 2349 drugs

Wockhardt receives coveted QIDP status from FDA for WCK 771 and WCK 2349 drugs

Wockhardt Limited today announces a major boost to the New Drug Discovery program in Anti-Infective research when two of its drugs, WCK 771 and WCK 2349, received the coveted Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) status from U.S. Food & Drug Administration. [More]