infection

African-American women are more likely to be infected with HIV than other women, and many don't know it. So public health officials and advocates are trying to get the word out about PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis. It's a daily medication that helps prevent HIV infection.

Zika wasn't even on Dr. Sankar Swaminathan's mind when he first examined a severely ill 73-year-old man in a Salt Lake City hospital in June. The patient had just returned from a visit to Mexico when he suddenly fell violently ill.

"We were not thinking about Zika at all because Zika usually does not cause severe illness, in fact it almost never does," says Swaminathan, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Utah.

If you ran down the list of ailments that most commonly kill Americans, chances are you wouldn't think to name sepsis. But this condition, sometimes called blood poisoning, is in fact one of the most common causes of death in the hospital, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Jennifer Rodgers learned about sepsis the way many people do — through personal experience.

When professional athletes get a staph infection, such as the three Tampa Bay Buccaneer football players who are currently fighting MRSA, the media shine a spotlight. But as the Tampa Tribune reports, MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph aureus) is everywhere.

About one-third of people carry the staph bacteria in their noses at any one time, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and 2 percent carry the antibiotic-resistant MRSA.

Fort Myers News-Press

The family of Zachary Reyna, a LaBelle boy who fought a brain-eating infection for 20 days,  says the 12-year-old is now on a ventilator at Miami Children’s Hospital so his organs can be donated, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. Although antibiotics helped clear up the primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, he suffered too much brain damage to recover, his family says. The extremely rare infection is almost always fatal.  

NIAID / Flickr

Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers football players are fighting MRSA infections, a type of staph infection that's resistant to some antibiotics. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, athletic facilities are especially risky for MRSA infections, given the close physical contact and the likelihood of cuts and scrapes during practices. 

Will Vragoic / Tampa Bay Times

Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers players are being treated for staph infections, the Tampa Bay Times reports. MRSA is resistant to some antibiotics and is spread through contact with an infected person. More answers to frequently asked questions about MRSA available here

The human papillomavirus is a big cause of mouth and throat cancers, and those cancers have been getting more and more common.

So researchers asked: Could brushing and flossing make a difference?

It looks like the answer is yes, at least when it comes to being infected with oral HPV.

People with poor oral health are more likely to have an oral HPV infection, according to research from the the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.

Naegleria fowleri, a fresh water amoeba that attacks the brain, usually kills its victims before they can get treatment.

CDC

A 12-year-old Southwest Florida boy is fighting for his life in Miami Children’s Hospital after playing in water that was contaminated with Naegleria fowleri, a rare and deadly organism that attacks the brain, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. According to the CDC, just one person has recovered from primary amebic meningoencephalitis out of the 128 who were infected in the U.S.

The FDA said Saturday it would step up its surveillance of "green leafy products" from Mexico, after a rare parasite linked to a lettuce supplier there caused illness in more than 400 people in 16 U.S. states.

The parasite, known as cyclosporiasis, was first identified at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in Iowa and Nebraska and has since been discovered in Texas and numerous other states.

Joe Buckingham

Hundreds of people, including 24 in Florida, contracted a severe stomach bug that health officials suspect may have been caused by a bagged salad mix, the Associated Press reports.  One of the Florida patients was hospitalized, the health department reports, but none have died. The CDC has confirmed 372 cases of of cyclospora infections in 15 states. 

The family of a 65-year-old woman has been charged with manslaughter after authorities say the woman’s body was found covered in infected bedsores that left her ribs exposed, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says Mary Winston, a former nurse, had rheumatoid arthritis that was so severe she couldn’t move.

Tysabri is the most effective multiple sclerosis medicine available, but using it for more than two years raises a risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a brain infection that can be fatal, Bloomberg News reports. 
Almost 60,000 MS patients are continuing the treatment into the danger zone anyway, saying that without it they’d be disabled.

Tampa Bay Times

Researchers say hospitals’ most common method of fighting the antibiotic-resistant bacteria called MRSA -- screening and isolation -- isn’t as effective as another strategy that’s been tested at HCA hospitals nationwide, including a number in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports. 

Consensus Builds For Universal HIV Testing

Apr 30, 2013

Everybody needs an HIV test, at least once.

That's the verdict from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has just joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a scrum of professional medical societies in calling for universal testing for the virus that causes AIDS.

The largest current study of an AIDS vaccine, involving 2,500 people, is being stopped.

After an oversight committee took a preliminary peek at the results this past Monday, they concluded there was no way the study would show that the vaccine prevents HIV infection.

Nor would the vaccine suppress the wily virus among people who get infected despite being vaccinated.

At least two people who paid a man to give them shots to enlarge their buttocks have been hospitalized with serious infections. Police say Calvin Butler, who worked out of a West Palm Beach motel, used “Krazy Glue” on his clients.