News in Brief: Week of July 21-25

July 27, 2014 09:22 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

MERS Virus Could Be Airborne, Says Study

A study published July 22( in the open-access journal mBio reported that an air sample taken last year from a barn in Saudi Arabia that housed dromedary camels infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was found to contain MERS-CoV RNA fragments identical to those isolated from the animals themselves.

[News in Brief]

The sample was collected on Nov. 7, which was the same day that one of nine camels in the same barn tested positive for MERS-CoV. The owner of the barn had previously contracted the disease. According to researchers, this was the first report suggesting possible airborne transmission of MERS-CoV. The data suggest that camels may be a source of infectious MERS-CoV, which can be transmitted to humans within confined spaces.

AAFP Supports Campaign for Kids' Dental Health

The AAFP has joined more than 70 other organizations in supporting the American Academy of Pediatrics' Campaign for Dental Health(, which aims to raise public awareness about general oral health, an increasing incidence of dental carries and the benefits of water fluoridation.

The campaign's website offers a section specific to health care professionals( that includes downloadable information guides for clinicians and for patients, parents and caregivers on topics such as fluorosis and fluoride.

According to the campaign, children with healthy mouths do better in school and are more likely to become happy and successful adults.

CMS Launches Second Phase of Quality Improvement Program Reform

In a July 18 press release(, CMS announced the launch of the second phase of its Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program restructuring.

As part of this phase, CMS awarded contracts to 14 organizations covering 49 states and the District of Columbia that will work with physicians, other health care professionals and communities nationwide on data-driven quality initiatives. Dubbed Quality Innovation Network QIOs, the projects led by the awardees will drive health care quality in communities, health care facilities and clinical practices by

  • providing technical assistance,
  • convening learning and action networks for sharing best practices, and
  • collecting and analyzing data for improvement.

STFM Announces Scholarship Opportunity

The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) and the STFM Foundation recently announced a call for nominees for STFM's scholarship program( In 2015, one scholarship is available for a family physician or general practice physician who hails from Asia. The nominee selected will receive as much as $3,500 to support travel expenses to attend the STFM Annual Spring Conference scheduled for April 25-29 in Orlando, Fla.

Requirements for eligibility include fluency in English and the completion of advanced training such as a family medicine residency program.

The selected nominee should, among other things, demonstrate a personal need for financial support and the potential for contributing to the development of family medicine in his or her home country. Applications must be submitted electronically by Sept. 30 to; call 800-274-7928 with questions. The award winner will be notified in early December.