Items in AFP with MESH term: World Health
ABSTRACT: Avian influenza A (H5N1) first emerged as a global public health threat in 1997 when it caused a major human outbreak in Hong Kong. Endemic in waterfowl and highly virulent in poultry, H5N1 is capable of incidentally infecting humans and other mammals. Although H5N1 is not yet capable of efficient human-to-human transmission, the protean nature of its genome could transform it into the source of the next human influenza pandemic. In the spring of 2006, migrating birds spread the virus from Asia to Europe and Africa. Preparing for a new influenza pandemic involves increasing global influenza surveillance and developing practical strategies for containing outbreaks at the source. Prompt case recognition, isolation, and treatment will be crucial for disease control. Pharmacologic interventions will focus on streamlining the production of vaccine, extending vaccine supplies, stockpiling antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir, and distributing these agents in a timely manner to persons who have the most need. Nonpharmacologic measures will include the use of masks, social distancing, quarantine, travel restrictions, and increasing the emergency capacity of health care systems.
Gout: An Update - Article
ABSTRACT: Arthritis caused by gout (i.e., gouty arthritis) accounts for millions of outpatient visits annually, and the prevalence is increasing. Gout is caused by monosodium urate crystal deposition in tissues leading to arthritis, soft tissue masses (i.e., tophi), nephrolithiasis, and urate nephropathy. The biologic precursor to gout is elevated serum uric acid levels (i.e., hyperuricemia). Asymptomatic hyperuricemia is common and usually does not progress to clinical gout. Acute gout most often presents as attacks of pain, erythema, and swelling of one or a few joints in the lower extremities. The diagnosis is confirmed if monosodium urate crystals are present in synovial fluid. First-line therapy for acute gout is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, depending on comorbidities; colchicine is second-line therapy. After the first gout attack, modifiable risk factors (e.g., high-purine diet, alcohol use, obesity, diuretic therapy) should be addressed. Urate-lowering therapy for gout is initiated after multiple attacks or after the development of tophi or urate nephrolithiasis. Allopurinol is the most common therapy for chronic gout. Uricosuric agents are alternative therapies in patients with preserved renal function and no history of nephrolithiasis. During urate-lowering therapy, the dose should be titrated upward until the serum uric acid level is less than 6 mg per dL (355 micromol per L). When initiating urate-lowering therapy, concurrent prophylactic therapy with low-dose colchicine for three to six months may reduce flare-ups.
ABSTRACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published revised guidelines for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. One new treatment strategy is the use of azithromycin as a primary, rather than alternative, medication for pregnant women with Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Quinolone-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection continues to increase in the United States; therefore, quinolones are no longer recommended for treatment of this infection. Expedited partner therapy gives physicians another option when addressing the need to treat partners of persons diagnosed with N. gonorrhoeae or C. trachomatis infection. Tinidazole is now available in the United States and can be used to manage trichomoniasis, including trichomoniasis resistant to metronidazole. Shorter courses of antiviral medication can be used for episodic therapy of recurrent genital herpes. Because of increasing resistance, close follow-up is required if azithromycin is used as an alternative treatment in the management of primary or secondary syphilis. Unexpected increases in the rates of lymphogranuloma venereum have occurred in The Netherlands, and physicians should remain vigilant for symptoms of this disease in the United States.
Medical Care for Immigrants and Refugees - Article
ABSTRACT: Refugees and other immigrants often present with clinical problems that are as varied as their previous experiences. Clinical presentations may range from unusual infectious diseases to problems with transition. This article describes medical conditions associated with immigrants, as well as specific screening recommendations, including history, physical examination and laboratory tests, and some of the challenges encountered by family physicians caring for refugees.
Chronic Pancreatitis - Clinical Evidence Handbook
Long-Term Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Vitamin D deficiency affects persons of all ages. Common manifestations of vitamin D deficiency are symmetric low back pain, proximal muscle weakness, muscle aches, and throbbing bone pain elicited with pressure over the sternum or tibia. A 25-hydroxyvitamin D level should be obtained in patients with suspected vitamin D deficiency. Deficiency is defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of less than 20 ng per mL (50 nmol per L), and insufficiency is defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 to 30 ng per mL (50 to 75 nmol per L). The goal of treatment is to normalize vitamin D levels to relieve symptoms and decrease the risk of fractures, falls, and other adverse health outcomes. To prevent vitamin D deficiency, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and children receive at least 400 IU per day from diet and supplements. Evidence shows that vitamin D supplementation of at least 700 to 800 IU per day reduces fracture and fall rates in adults. In persons with vitamin D deficiency, treatment may include oral ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) at 50,000 IU per week for eight weeks. After vitamin D levels normalize, experts recommend maintenance dosages of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) at 800 to 1,000 IU per day from dietary and supplemental sources.
ABSTRACT: Although the annual incidence of bacterial meningitis in the United States is declining, it remains a medical emer- gency with a potential for high morbidity and mortality. Clinical signs and symptoms are unreliable in distinguishing bacterial meningitis from the more common forms of aseptic meningitis; therefore, a lumbar puncture with cerebro- spinal fluid analysis is recommended. Empiric antimicrobial therapy based on age and risk factors must be started promptly in patients with bacterial meningitis. Empiric therapy should not be delayed, even if a lumbar puncture cannot be performed because results of a computed tomography scan are pending or because the patient is awaiting transfer. Concomitant therapy with dexamethasone initiated before or at the time of antimicrobial therapy has been demonstrated to improve morbidity and mortality in adults with Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. Within the United States, almost 30 percent of strains of pneumococci, the most common etiologic agent of bacterial meningitis, are not susceptible to penicillin. Among adults in developed countries, the mortality rate from bacterial meningitis is 21 percent. However, the use of conjugate vaccines has reduced the incidence of bacterial meningitis in children and adults.
End-stage Renal Disease - Clinical Evidence Handbook