Influenza has arrived refusing to be ignored or be the ugly step-virus to Ebola any longer. This influenza season is officially an epidemic. The Washington Post's Wonkblog reported earlier this month that December 2014 was “one of the worst flu months in years.”  In fact, they found that it was “the worst December since the polling organization started tracking flu season in 2008.” As of January 3rd, the CDC reported widespread ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 74-year-old man is evaluated in the emergency department for a 3-day history of fever and chills as well as confusion. He has a 5-week history of a nonhealing ulcer on the plantar surface of his left foot. He has diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease for which he takes metformin, ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Current Flu Vaccine Half as Effective as Previous Years. People receiving this year's seasonal influenza vaccine are 23% less likely to seek medical treatment for flu-type symptoms relative to unvaccinated individuals, according to an interim CDC estimate based on reports submitted so far for the current season.
  2. New Board ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. CDC: Most Nosocomial Infections Fall. Rates of most major types of healthcare-associated infections have declined markedly in recent years.
  2. RA Patients More Likely to Abandon Remicade. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients were more likely to discontinue infliximab (Remicade) than adalimumab (Humira) and etanercept (Enbrel) in the first year of biologic ...

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shutterstock_74650402 Dangerous ingredients, like toxins, antifreeze, and mercury, are touted by many as reasons to decline vaccination against influenza. However, toxin is an inaccurate term regarding vaccines (a toxin is a poisonous substance made by cells or organisms and is definitely not in any vaccine), mercury is a non-issue (see below), and there is no antifreeze in vaccines (although some contain propylene glycol, ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Statins and RA: No Joint Benefit. The use of statins does not reduce onset of new joint pain or stiffness in middle-age or older women but their use is associated with poor physical functioning and poor self-rated health.
  2. Expert Groups Clarify HPV Testing Recommendations. Primary cervical cancer screening with ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 46-year-old woman is evaluated before undergoing a dental cleaning procedure involving deep scaling. She has a history of mitral valve prolapse without regurgitation and also had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) aortic valve endocarditis 10 years ago treated successfully with antibiotics. The patient notes an allergy to penicillin characterized by hypotension, hives, and wheezing. ...

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shutterstock_153808931 You might think of bacon, that thing of gustatory beauty that is salted, cured pork, as just pleasure for your taste buds, however, one of the first medical facts I learned in 2015 was that bacon has medicinal purposes (apart from making you feel better after eating it). With this new knowledge at hand, the time just seemed right for a ...

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shutterstock_108354956 This year, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. So, last week, one evening, I told my wife about a news story I heard on National Public Radio (NPR) about the microbiology of a kiss. My wife smiled. A group of researchers, I said, looked at the oral bacterial flora of 21 couples to determine how many bacteria were transferred by a kiss. ...

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Since Ebola was first discovered in 1976, there have been an estimated 16 to 22 recorded outbreaks. In August, the World Health Organization designated the most recent outbreak a global emergency. Ebola is a deadly infection and the scope of the current epidemic in West Africa is unprecedented. More than 17,000 people have contracted Ebola virus disease (EVD) with more than 6,000 estimated deaths. Many in the health care field have criticized the response ...

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