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Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines could reduce pneumonia hospitalizations
Older adults aged above 65 years who received the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine were at a 6.7% lower risk of hospitalization due to pneumonia compared to those who did not take it, as per a study. The risk was 5.8% to 7.5% lower in older adults with underlying health conditions. Vaccine beneficiaries received the vaccine 14 days or more before hospitalization.
BCG vaccine in infancy protects against TB in children but not adults
A study showed that BCG vaccination given at birth does not provide significant protection against tuberculosis among adults or adolescents. However, it protected children under the age of 5 years. These findings suggest that the vaccine's effectiveness begins to wave at 10 years of age, and adults should get booster shots for further protection against tuberculosis.
Persistent asthma could cause plaques in carotid arteries
People with persistent asthma may have almost two times more plaque buildup in the arteries leading to the brain than those without asthma, as per a study. Also, such people have higher levels of inflammation than those without asthma. Carotid artery plaques raise the risk for cardiovascular disease, suggesting people with persistent asthma should address these risk factors.
American Heart Association
Lung cancer screening programs improve the survival of lung cancer patients
Screening people for lung cancer using low-dose CT improved the 20-year survival of lung cancer patients by almost 80%, as per a study. However, only 16% of patients with lung cancer had a diagnosis at an early stage. Also, less than 6% of people eligible for an early screening get it. These findings highlight the benefits of annual screening programs.
Marijuana smokers more likely to suffer emphysema than cigarette smokers
About 75% of marijuana smokers suffered emphysema, a lung disease causing difficulty breathing, compared to 67% of tobacco smokers in a study. In comparison, only 5% of non-smokers suffered emphysema. Also, gynecomastia was more common in marijuana smokers (38% vs 11%). However, there were no differences in the rates of coronary artery calcification between the groups.
Radiological Society of North America
The universal flu vaccine is on the horizon, says a scientist
An investigational mRNA vaccine showed protection in ferrets and mice against severe flu. This breakthrough has paved the way for human clinical trials, a step ahead to help tackle flu pandemics. The new vaccine can prime the immune system against 20 influenza virus subtypes. It can provide people at risk with a baseline immunity and lower the risk of severe illness and death.
Fungal infection should be considered a possible reason for pneumonia
Climate changes are causing fungal pathogens to move out of their conventional hot spots leading to an increase in fungal infections, as per a study. Fungal infections are misdiagnosed as bacterial infections leading to unwanted antibiotic exposure. Physicians are urged to consider travel history and more testing to rule out fungal infection before prescribing antibiotics.
Vaping could increase dental cavities, says a study
The aerosolized e-liquids or aerosols used in vaping pens could cover the teeth of vapers in a sticky and sugary film to promote bacterial growth. A study showed that e-cigarette users are at remarkably higher risk of cavities than those who did not use them. Researchers suggest vapers should be prescribed dental treatments like mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste.
AAP issues guidance on managing respiratory illnesses in children during a surge
The agency recommended uninterrupted care during the COVID-19, influenza, and RSV infection outbreaks. Physicians should include both the physical and mental health of children in readiness preparations. The guidance outlines steps to optimize space, resources, staff, and beds and overcome challenges in all settings, including ambulatory care and community hospital settings.
American Academy of Pediatrics
Study supports shorter treatment regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis
Two shorter bedaquiline treatment regimens (9-month oral and 6-month oral+injectable) were found to have superior efficacy against rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis than a 9-month control regimen containing injectables. The commonly observed adverse event was grade 3 or 4 hearing loss in all treatment regimens. But it was more commonly seen in the control treatment group.