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From government conspiracies to autism, vaccine outreach programs have been repeatedly called into suspicion, sometimes for understandable reasons. The long-circulating belief that vaccines cause autism, for example, resulted from research published in The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and best known general medical journals. And while the author of that research was later found…

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In the twentieth century, one of the greatest weapons in the war against infectious diseases was created: antibiotics. With this powerful scythe of medicine, bacteria were decimated and humanity slowly gained control over the battlefield. Bacteria lost its killing power and humans lived to older ages. In fact, bacteria’s virulent characteristics were suppressed and they…

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  Powassan virus (POW) is a flavivirus transmitted through tick bites, first discovered in the town of Powassan, Ontario in 1958 when it was identified in a young boy. This virus is transmitted more rapidly from tick to human than Lyme disease (it can take only minutes) and more likely to be fatal. As of…

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Sitting around the table with my medical students discussing our recently diagnosed child with Lyme disease, our discussion focused on the need for early diagnosis.  While this particular patient was caught fairly early in her disease based on symptoms, the diagnosis remains elusive for many. Blood tests do not detect early stages of the disease…

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Lyme disease is a bacterial (Borrelia burgdoferi) infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected black-legged tick, most commonly the deer tick. Because they are so small (about the size of a pin head), they often go unnoticed on the body. In order for Lyme disease to be transmitted, they must be attached…

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Much speculation filled the news about Zika virus over the past year. We watched as news filtered out from Brazil and other countries about the increasing incidence of microcephaly in newborn babies from mothers who were infection with the virus. And, as fears mounted, we witnessed its arrival in the US. What is Zika? Zika…

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One of the greatest advancements in medicine came with the advent of the vaccination program. Certain diseases, such as small pox, were eradicated around the globe through aggressive vaccination programs by both the CDC and the WHO.  Other diseases like Polio no longer exist in the Americas and others are in the process of being…

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Zika Virus is in the news, people are concerned about this epidemic expanding through the U.S. protectorates and threatening the continental U.S. and Hawaii. We’re at the early stages of understanding this virus and there is much misinformation and uncertainty surrounding this new global pathogenic threat. While the anxiety is wide-spread, the Center for Disease…

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Zika, already a problem in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, should reach the mainland U.S. as seasonal temperatures climb and the mosquito responsible for transmission becomes active. To date, there have been 273 travel-associated cases of Zika in U.S. States, 19 are in pregnant women and six were sexually transmitted. In…

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium which causes infections in different parts of the body. In the United States, MRSA accounts for an average of 59 percent of all emergency room admissions for patients with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI). Although this percentage varies across the country, clearly attention must be given to…

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When we take a look at the 10 most significant invasive fungal infections worldwide, over 2 million cases are reported each year, with a startlingly high average mortality rate of 45%. This war against invasive mycoses demands an urgent need for efficient diagnostic tests and safe and effective new drugs and vaccines. In this CME…

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  In this CME offering, Dr. Trevor Van Schooneveld uses clinical trial results, his personal knowledge, and his passion for Antimicrobial Stewardship as he explains how we can better treat in-hospital gram-negative infections. Dr. Schooneveld, Associate Professor of Infectious Disease as well as the Medical Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at the University of…

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