While the vast majority of measles cases in the U.S. and worldwide are occurring in unvaccinated children, a fair percentage is also occurring in adults.  With more-widespread transmission of measles, it’s becoming more important for all of us – yes, that includes parents – to make sure we’re well-protected. Measles is probably the single most contagious infection that humans face. The key to preventing the return of widespread measles is in ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 44-year-old man is evaluated in the office during a routine visit. Medical history is significant for HIV diagnosed at age 25 years, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. He is a current smoker. Medications are chlorthalidone, tenofovir-emtricitabine, and raltegravir. On physical examination, the patient is afebrile, and blood pressure is 126/74 mm ...

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When writing medical notes, some clinicians include an appreciation of their patient's personality and disposition in their opening line (the "chief complaint"), or when they're wrapping up (in the "assessment and plan"), or in both locations. You know — it goes like this: "CC:  Ms. Smith is a very pleasant 62-year-old woman admitted with …" or: "A/P:  To summarize, Mr. Jones is a delightful 89-year-old man presenting with …" or: "CC:  This lovely 74-year-old retired school teacher was in her usual state of health ...

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When Dr. Fleming found penicillin mold in his Petri dishes in 1928, he had no idea of the impact he — and it — would have on global health. Penicillin and the antibiotic revolution that it triggered have saved countless lives and change world history. Less than a century later, though, antibiotics occupy a space between savior and sinner. This complicated reputation is mostly due to how ...

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A Kentucky judge rejected the claims made by a teenager who sued his local health department for temporarily barring students at his school who aren't immune against chickenpox from attending classes and participating in extracurricular activities. This article prompted a little thought experiment. Chickenpox used to be a routine childhood illness.  For a couple of weeks, kids who contracted the illness were very contagious and experienced discomfort. Death was rare, ...

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“Let’s ask Ben Shapiro to come speak,” the nurse practitioner said. “He’s popular.” “Or we can mention the ten plagues, since Passover is coming up,” offered a pediatrician. They were talking about countering anti-vaccine propaganda among ultra-Orthodox Jews, and they were brainstorming with a hint of desperation. Trying not to obstruct women in strollers and men on the way from morning prayer, I had made it to this conference room in ...

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There are those 25 minutes before my workday begins that I either drive in silence, or blare the radio and jam out to pop hits priming myself for the unexpected hours ahead. When the music is loud, and the tempo is upbeat, it transports me back to being 21 on a summer day in Chicago, before kids and bills, headed nowhere too important, definitely not too fast, stuck in traffic ...

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The last sunlight of the day was slanting through Joseph’s hospital window. As the sun descended, it burned the sky crimson, and the mists rolled away, disappearing into Rwanda’s seemingly endless hills. I had just arrived in Kigali for global health work with a goal of medical education and, as I looked out, I felt at peace with my recent decision to apply to an infectious disease (ID) fellowship. Earlier, while ...

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Forgive the autobiographical nature of this post, but here’s a recap on how I started down the path to becoming an infectious disease (ID) doctor. To begin, understand that my first year of medical school was rough going. In hindsight, this wasn’t surprising. After majoring in English during college (with a minor in the Harvard Lampoon to develop good study habits, ha ha ha), then spending a year abroad teaching, I found medical school’s unrelenting ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. In the run-up to the Academy Awards this year, like many people I made a concerted effort to see most of the top-nominated pictures.  Of particular interest was Bohemian Rhapsody, the biographical film about the lead singer of the rock band Queen, Freddie ...

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