Jump to content

Search the hub

Showing results for tags 'Medicine - Infectious disease'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Start to type the tag you want to use, then select from the list.

  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • All
    • Commissioning, service provision and innovation in health and care
    • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • Culture
    • Improving patient safety
    • Investigations, risk management and legal issues
    • Leadership for patient safety
    • Organisations linked to patient safety (UK and beyond)
    • Patient engagement
    • Patient safety in health and care
    • Patient Safety Learning
    • Professionalising patient safety
    • Research, data and insight
    • Miscellaneous


  • Commissioning, service provision and innovation in health and care
    • Commissioning and funding patient safety
    • Digital health and care service provision
    • Health records and plans
    • Innovation programmes in health and care
    • Climate change/sustainability
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • Blogs
    • Data, research and statistics
    • Frontline insights during the pandemic
    • Good practice and useful resources
    • Guidance
    • Mental health
    • Exit strategies
    • Patient recovery
  • Culture
    • Bullying and fear
    • Good practice
    • Occupational health and safety
    • Safety culture programmes
    • Second victim
    • Speak Up Guardians
    • Staff safety
    • Whistle blowing
  • Improving patient safety
    • Clinical governance and audits
    • Design for safety
    • Disasters averted/near misses
    • Equipment and facilities
    • Error traps
    • Health inequalities
    • Human factors (improving human performance in care delivery)
    • Improving systems of care
    • Implementation of improvements
    • International development and humanitarian
    • Safety stories
    • Stories from the front line
    • Workforce and resources
  • Investigations, risk management and legal issues
    • Investigations and complaints
    • Risk management and legal issues
  • Leadership for patient safety
    • Business case for patient safety
    • Boards
    • Clinical leadership
    • Exec teams
    • Inquiries
    • International reports
    • National/Governmental
    • Patient Safety Commissioner
    • Quality and safety reports
    • Techniques
    • Other
  • Organisations linked to patient safety (UK and beyond)
    • Government and ALB direction and guidance
    • International patient safety
    • Regulators and their regulations
  • Patient engagement
    • Consent and privacy
    • Harmed care patient pathways/post-incident pathways
    • How to engage for patient safety
    • Keeping patients safe
    • Patient-centred care
    • Patient stories
  • Patient safety in health and care
    • Care settings
    • Conditions
    • Diagnosis
    • High risk areas
    • Learning disabilities
    • Medication
    • Mental health
    • Men's health
    • Patient management
    • Social care
    • Transitions of care
    • Women's health
  • Patient Safety Learning
    • Patient Safety Learning campaigns
    • Patient Safety Learning documents
    • Patient Safety Learning news archive
    • 2-minute Tuesdays
    • Patient Safety Learning Annual Conference 2019
    • Patient Safety Learning Annual Conference 2018
    • Patient Safety Learning Awards 2019
    • Patient Safety Learning Interviews
    • Patient Safety Learning webinars
  • Professionalising patient safety
    • Accreditation for patient safety
    • Competency framework
    • Medical students
    • Patient safety standards
    • Training
  • Research, data and insight
    • Data and insight
    • Research
  • Miscellaneous


  • News

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start

Last updated

  • Start

Filter by number of...


  • Start



First name

Last name


Join a private group (if appropriate)

About me



Found 188 results
  1. News Article
    Potentially deadly fungal infections with Candida auris are spreading rapidly in US healthcare facilities, with cases nearly doubling between 2020 and 2021, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. The number of cases rose by 44% to 476 in 2019, up from 330 in 2018, and subsequently by 59% to 756 in 2020 and by an additional 95% to 1,471 in 2021, the agency’s researchers reported on Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine. Also concerning was a tripling in 2021 of the number of cases that were resistant to echinocandins, the class of drugs most often recommended for treatment of the disease. The most common Candida auris symptoms include a high fever and chills that do not improve after antibiotic treatment for suspected bacterial infections, according to guidelines from the CDC. Additional symptoms can develop if the infection spreads. Dr Waleed Javaid – an epidemiologist, infectious disease expert and director of infection prevention and control at New York’s Mount Sinai Downtown – told NBC News that the new findings were “worrisome”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 March 2023
  2. News Article
    About 2 million people die a year as a result of a core group of fungi, and the WHO is concerned we are unprepared for the future. In October, the World Health Organization released its fungal priority pathogens list, the first global effort to create a mycological “most wanted” list of the 19 fungi most dangerous to humans . “Despite posing a growing threat to human health, fungal infections receive very little attention and resources globally,” the report said. “This all makes it impossible to estimate the exact burden of fungal infections, and consequently difficult to galvanise policy and programmatic action.” Fungi are the most populous life form on the planet, with an estimated 12 million species existing worldwide. Only a fraction of these species infect humans, but they are responsible for roughly a billion infections each year. “Most of those are superficial things like athlete’s foot, that no one’s particularly bothered about, but there is a core group that causes life-threatening infections, and particularly in susceptible populations such as the very old or young, and those with immune systems that don’t work properly,” says Mark Ramsdale, an associate professor of mycology at the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology in Exeter. About 1.5 million people die a year as a result of these infections, says Ramsdale – although that may be an underestimation, because fungi predominantly infect people who already have major health problems. “The primary cause of death will probably be leukaemia or heart transplant, or whatever,” he says. “But the thing that actually kills the patient is a fungal infection, so there is a strong element of underreporting going on.” Underestimating them would be a mistake. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 February 2023
  3. News Article
    A new state of the art institute for antimicrobial research is to open at Oxford University thanks to a £100 million donation from Ineos. Ineos, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, and the University of Oxford are launching a new world-leading institute to combat the growing global issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which currently causes an estimated 1.5 million excess deaths each year- and could cause over 10m deaths per year by 2050. Predicted to also create a global economic toll of $100 trillion by mid-century, it is arguably the greatest economic and healthcare challenge facing the world post-Covid. It is bacterial resistance, caused by overuse and misuse of antibiotics, which arguably poses the broadest threat to global populations. The world is fast running out of effective antibiotics as bacteria evolve to develop resistance to our taken-for-granted treatments. Without urgent collaborative action to prevent common microbes becoming multi-drug resistant (commonly known as ‘superbugs’), we could return to a world where taken-for-granted treatments such as chemotherapy and hip replacements could become too risky, childbirth becomes extremely dangerous, and even a basic scratch could kill. The rapid progression of antibacterial resistance is a natural process, exacerbated by significant overuse and misuse of antibiotics not only in human populations but especially in agriculture. Meanwhile, the field of new drug discovery has attracted insufficient scientific interest and funding in recent decades meaning no new antibiotics have been successfully developed since the 1980s. Alongside its drug discovery work, the IOI intends to partner with other global leaders in the field of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) to raise awareness and promote responsible use of antimicrobial drugs. The academic team will contribute to research on the type and extent of drug resistant microbes across the world, and critically, will seek to attract and train the brightest minds in science to tackle this ‘silent pandemic’. Read full story Source: University of Oxford, 19 January 2021
  4. News Article
    The UK needs to do more to use diagnostic testing in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the chair of a government-commissioned review on AMR told MPs. Lord O’Neill, an economist and former treasury minister, warned in the review’s final report in 2016 that a continued rise in AMR would lead to 10 million people dying each year by 2050 and made ten recommendations, including the need for rapid diagnostics to reduce unnecessary use of antimicrobials. Speaking to a Commons Science and Technology Committee evidence session on 22 June 2022, Lord O’Neill said that while he was pleased with progress on some of the recommendations published in his review in 2016, especially in the reduction of antimicrobials in agriculture, progress on diagnostics was “woeful”. He said it was “alarming to me how we are not embedding state-of-the-art diagnostic technology right in the middle of our health systems”, adding that it could “really make a huge difference about whether an antibiotic is needed or not, and the right kind of antibiotic”. “Our most aggressive recommendation was that we should ban the use of subjective prescriptions in secondary settings, at least in Western countries, until they’ve gone through a state-of-the-art diagnostics,” he continued. “And nobody’s done it; they claim it’s a vicious circle, the technology isn’t there, but we have to give incentives in order to get this embedded because that would make a permanent difference.” Read full story Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 24 June 2022
  5. News Article
    India faces a “pandemic” of superbugs, the country’s top public health experts have warned, as resistance to common antibiotics has jumped by 10% in just one year In the fifth edition of its annual report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the Indian Council of Medical Research warned that urgent action is needed to prevent a major health crisis caused by the rampant misuse of antibiotics. “The resistance level is increasing to five to ten per cent every year for broad spectrum antimicrobials, which are highly misused,” said Dr Kamini Walia, who led the ICMR’s report. “Antibiotic resistance has the potential of taking the form of a pandemic in the near future if corrective measures are not taken immediately.” The report warned that only 43% of pneumonia infections in India could be treated with first line antibiotics in 2021 – down from 65% in 2016. “We could absolutely see a pandemic driven by AMR infections in India,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the One Health Trust, a global public health think tank. “It is certainly within the realms of possibility, it could be next year or over the next two decades. “Bacterial infections were the biggest killers in the early 20th Century and we risk going back to that time where there are no effective antibiotics and infections can spread rapidly,” he added. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 16 September 2022
  6. News Article
    The extent of the gridlock in hospitals over Christmas has been revealed, with data in England showing record numbers of ambulances delayed dropping off patients at A&E. More than 40% of crews were forced to wait at least half an hour to hand over patients in the week up to 1 January. That is the highest level since records began a decade ago. But there is hope pressures could soon start easing, with flu and Covid admissions dropping last week. But the UK Health Security Agency is warning it is too early to say whether the flu season - the worst in a decade - has peaked, because reporting lags over the festive period may have affected the data. And Matthew Taylor, of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, said wards were still incredibly full, which was creating delays in A&E and for ambulances. He said hospitals were facing "crisis conditions" that were presenting a risk to patients. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 January 2023
  7. News Article
    People have been urged to wear face coverings and remain at home if feeling unwell, as an already crisis-stricken NHS faces down multiple waves of winter illnesses. With children returning to school at a time when high levels of flu, Covid-19 and scarlet fever are all being reported, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued fresh guidance in a bid to minimise the diseases’ spread. Parents have been urged to keep children at home if they are unwell and have a fever, with adults told to only go out if necessary and wear face coverings if they are ill and avoid visiting vulnerable people. While transport secretary Mark Harper said the advice was “very sensible”, Downing Street insisted that such guidance was “pretty longstanding”, stressing that it was “not mandatory” and remained a far cry from ministers “telling people what to do” at the height of the pandemic. The government has also reintroduced travel bans for those testing positive for Covid-19 in China from 5 January amid a mass outbreak there. It comes as pressure on the NHS continues to grow, but Rishi Sunak said he was “confident” the NHS has the funding it needs despite accusations from senior doctors his government is in denial about the scale of the crisis in the health service. Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 January 2023
  8. News Article
    Flu and Covid are on the rise in England, with experts stressing the importance of vaccination and warning that people who feel unwell should stay at home rather than mingling with others during the festive season. The figures come as cases of scarlet fever and strep A infections continue to rise. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) added that while invasive strep A infections remain rare there have now been a total of 94 deaths in England, including 21 children. Dr Colin Brown, the deputy director at UKHSA, sought to reassure parents. “I understand how this large rise in scarlet fever and ‘strep throat’ may be concerning to parents, however the condition can be easily treated with antibiotics and it is very rare that a child will go on to become more seriously ill,” he said, adding that parents should visit NHS.UK, contact 111 online or their GP surgery if their child has symptoms so they can be assessed for treatment. Dr Mary Ramsay, the director of public health programmes at UKHSA, noted a link between indoor mixing and the rise in cases and hospital admissions for flu and Covid. “Both Covid and flu can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities, and so it is also important to avoid contact with other people if you are unwell in order to help stop infections spreading over the Christmas and new year period,” she said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 December 2022
  9. News Article
    The number of suspected scarlet fever cases since September has risen to nearly 30,000 after the UK Health Security Agency added almost 10,000 potential new infections in the last week. More than 27,000 people could have had infections since 12 September, according to the UKHSA, who revealed on Tuesday that there were more cases than first thought because of the “significant rise” in infections. The figures come from medical practitioners referring suspected cases to the local authority or health protection team. A total of 16 children aged under 18 have died from invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS), otherwise known as strep A. Parents are advised to contact 111 or a GP surgery if a child has symptoms. They can also include nausea and vomiting. New serious shortage protocols were issued to pharmacists last week in an attempt to help those experiencing supply issues with penicillin. Chemists had widely reported problems getting hold of liquid penicillin and amoxycillin due to the increase in demand. The antibiotics are often prescribed for children who have scarlet fever or strep A. People in the industry have also reported rising prices. Pharmacists are now able to prescribe an alternative antibiotic or formulation of penicillin, such as tablets. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 December 2022
  10. News Article
    Flu hospitalisations in England have jumped by more than 40 per cent in a week as the NHS braces for one of the worst outbreaks of the virus in recent years. Analysis of NHS data by The Telegraph shows that rates are more than eight times higher than expected at this time of year. On the current trajectory, admissions next week could pass the peak of the 2017-18 outbreak – one of the worst of the last 20 years – which led to nearly 30,000 deaths. Flu hospitalisations are so high that they have overtaken Covid admissions for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The rise could not come at a worse time for the NHS. It is already suffering the biggest treatment backlog in its history, which is set to be exacerbated by strikes by nurses and ambulance paramedics. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 15 December 2022
  11. News Article
    Three more children have died from strep A, it has emerged, and pharmacists in the UK have been told they can supply alternative antibiotics to those originally prescribed, in a bid to ease shortages of certain forms of penicillin. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data shows at least 19 children have now died across the UK, while there are 7,750 cases of scarlet fever so far this season. This is more than treble the 2,538 at the same point in the year during the last comparably high season in 2017 to 2018. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued serious shortage protocols (SSPs) for three penicillin medicines amid increased demand for the antibiotics. Pharmacists and GPs in the UK have faced serious difficulties in securing supplies of penicillin and amoxycillin, antibiotics used to treat infections including strep A. As a result, parents have reported having to visit a string of pharmacies to obtain medicines prescribed for their sick children, while the price of some antibiotics has risen sharply – a situation pharmacists say has left them facing losses. The health minister Will Quince said: “The increased demand for the antibiotics prescribed to treat strep A has meant some pharmacists have been unable to supply the medicine shown on the prescription. “These serious shortage protocols will allow pharmacists to supply an alternative form of penicillin, which will make things easier for them, patients, and GPs. “We are taking decisive action to address these temporary issues and improve access to these medicines by continuing to work with manufacturers and wholesalers to speed up deliveries, bring forward stock they have to help ensure it gets to where it’s needed, and boost supply to meet demand as quickly as possible.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 15 December 2022
  12. News Article
    Pharmacists say supplies of key antibiotics to treat strep A have "gone from bad to worse" in the past week. The Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMP) said the situation was "unacceptable" and it was time for the government to get a plan in place. Four antibiotics, which treat different conditions, have been added to a list of products that the UK cannot export. The UK government says it is working urgently with manufacturers and wholesalers to speed up deliveries. However, Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the AIMP, which represents 4,000 pharmacies in the UK, said the supply of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections including strep A and scarlet fever was "very poor". She said the problem had been highlighted a week ago, but it was now getting worse, making it very difficult to get hold of any antibiotics. "People are having to go from one pharmacy to another - it's chaos," she said. "Supplies are not coming through to us and it feels like no-one cares." Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 December 2022
  13. News Article
    The family of a boy who died of an invasive form of strep A have said they sought medical help three times before he was admitted to hospital. Jax Albert Jefferys, who attended Morelands Primary School in Waterlooville, Hampshire, died on 1 December, aged five. His family said they were initially told he had flu. Since September, UK Health Security Agency figures show 15 UK children have died after invasive strep A infections. Paying tribute to their "darling son", Jax's family said they had sought medical advice on three occasions during the four days leading up to his death and were told that he was suffering with influenza A. "We then followed the recommended course of action: to administer a proprietary paracetamol-based medication in the prescribed dosage," they said in a statement. However, they said on the fourth day Jax's condition "deteriorated so much" they "rushed him to hospital" and he later died. "Only after his death was it confirmed that the cause was [strep A]," the family said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 December 2022
  14. News Article
    Strep A home-testing kits have sold out online as parents rush to find ways to diagnose their children’s rashes and high temperatures. The panic-buying follows the deaths of at least 16 children from invasive strep A infections in the UK. As infections and deaths from strep A have risen over the past few weeks, parents have turned to tests that involve a long cotton swab that is lightly passed over the back of the throat. Solutions and a strip test are then used to display results. These tests are now being sold online for more than £100, while some retailers have reported selling out after demand soared over the past few days. Other suppliers have warned customers that they will not be able to get hold of a test until after Christmas. One online retailer told customers that they would not be able to get the products until mid-January. Others said they were awaiting deliveries but “there may be delays beyond our control”. Strep A tests are not sold in England through the NHS because the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – which approves and advises on clinical care – has said their accuracy is uncertain and likely to be “highly variable”. Scotland has not approved them either, though in Wales people can buy them over the counter for £7.50. “We’re not advising using those [tests] for the time being,” Professor Kamila Hawthorne, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said on Friday. “It is a clinical diagnosis. It is not too difficult to make. So long as the parent watches their child and brings their child in, then we are more than happy to see them.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 December 2022
  15. News Article
    GP leaders have urged the government to put out clearer advice for parents about when to seek help over potential strep A infections. Prof Kamila Hawthorne, of the Royal College of GPs, said many surgeries were struggling with the extra demand on top of existing pressures. The government should consider "overspill" services for surgeries unable to cope, she said. Since September, 15 UK children have died after invasive strep A infections. This includes the death of one child in Wales, and one in Northern Ireland. There have been no deaths confirmed in Scotland. The UK Health Security Agency figures (UKHSA) show there have also been 47 deaths from strep A in adults in England. Most strep A infections are mild, but more severe invasive cases - while still rare - are rising. Prof Hawthorne, said: "We do not want to discourage patients who are worried about their children to seek medical attention, particularly given the current circumstances. "But we do want to see good public health messaging across the UK, making it clear to parents when they should seek help and the different care options available to them - as well as when they don't need to seek medical attention." Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 December 2022
  16. News Article
    Antibiotics could be given to children at schools affected by Strep A to stop the spread of the infection, schools minister Nick Gibb has said. Mr Gibb told Sky News that the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) is "working closely with the schools involved and giving very specific advice to those schools which may involve the use of penicillin". He added that health officials will "have more to say about that". "They're providing more general advice to parents, which is to look out for the symptoms - so, sore throat, fever, high temperature and also a red or raised rash on the skin are symptoms of this invasive Strep A outbreak." His comments came after the ninth death of a child from the infection. Read full story Source: Sky News, 6 December 2022
  17. News Article
    ‘Rubbish’ communications on Group A Strep from government agencies made A&Es more ‘risky’ over the weekend, after services were flooded with the ‘worried well’, several senior provider sources have told HSJ. On Friday the UK Health Security Agency, successor to Public Health England, issued a warning on a higher than usual number of cases after the deaths of five children under 10 in a week. Several senior sources in hospital, 111/ambulance, urgent care and primary care providers, told HSJ they were not warned UKHSA were making an announcement that would also see services flooded by the worried well. NHS England’s clinical lead for integrated urgent care issued a letter, seen by HSJ, saying a “considerable increase” in 111 demand over the weekend was “in part due to Group A Strep concerns”. Sources in the sector said the increase in demand was “heavily” Strep-related. One senior accident and emergency leader told HSJ that when parents could not get through on 111 they brought their children to emergency departments. “The media messaging has been handled terribly”, they added. They added: “Huge numbers of ‘worried well’ makes the A&E a much more dangerous place. We are just not equipped to deal with the volume of patients. [There is a] much greater chance we would miss one seriously unwell child when we are wading through a six-hour queue of viral, but otherwise well, kids.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 6 December 2022
  18. News Article
    There have been five recorded deaths within seven days of an invasive Strep A diagnosis in children under 10 in England this season, the UK Health Security Agency has said. A child under the age of 10 has also died in Wales after contracting the infection. Group A strep bacteria can cause many infections, ranging from minor illnesses to deadly diseases, but serious complications and deaths are rare. According to UKHSA data, there were 2.3 cases of invasive disease per 100,000 children aged one to four this year in England, compared with an average of 0.5 in the pre-pandemic seasons (2017 to 2019). There have also been 1.1 cases per 100,000 children aged five to nine, compared with the pre-pandemic average of 0.3 (2017 to 2019). The UKHSA said investigations are under way following reports of an increase in lower respiratory tract Group A Strep infections in children over the past few weeks, which have caused severe illness. It added that there is no evidence to suggest a new strain of Strep A is circulating, and the increase is most likely related to high amounts of circulating bacteria and social mixing. Read full story Source: Sky News, 3 December 2022
  19. News Article
    There is now an "imminent threat" of measles spreading in every region of the world, the World Health Organisation and the US public health agency has said. In a joint report, the health organisations said there had been a fall in vaccines against measles and less surveillance of the disease during the COVID pandemic. Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses but is almost entirely preventable through vaccination, though it requires 95% vaccine coverage to prevent outbreaks. A record high of nearly 40 million children missed a dose last year because of hurdles created by the pandemic, according to the report by the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This has left millions of children susceptible to the disease. "We are at a crossroads," Patrick O'Connor, the WHO's measles lead, said. "It is going to be a very challenging 12-24 months trying to mitigate this." Read full story Source: Sky News, 24 November 2022
  20. Content Article
    The report recommends the following actions to address the threat of AMR: NHS England, in collaboration with NICE, should urgently commission a national assessment of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of using rapid diagnostic tools. As part of this assessment, differences in the effectiveness of using diagnostics to support prescribing in primary and secondary care should be considered. NHS England should centrally purchase diagnostic tools, to more rapidly increase the percentage of prescriptions that are supported by a diagnostic test, drawing on evidence collected from the national assessment and Wales’ use of a central budget for diagnosing respiratory tract infections. Public health departments should work with charities and patient organisations to develop AMR awareness campaigns in the vein of those delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlight the experience of individuals living with drug-resistant infection and their families. As far as possible, these campaigns should be led by local Directors of Public Health, to increase the trust that local communities have in AMR messaging. A high-level AMR committee should be formed of permanent secretaries from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, the Head of AMR at NHS England, and Chief Executives of the UK Health Security Agency and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. This group should meet at an appropriate frequency to track progress against the Government’s twenty-year vision for AMR, promote cross-government coordination, and assess present and future social and economic impacts posed by AMR. To drive AMR preparedness and health security coordination at Cabinet Level, the Government should create a subcommittee of the National Security Council dedicated to assessing progress against the five-year action plan and twenty-year vision for AMR, and discuss future risks to health security. A named minister for health security should convene the subcommittee.
  21. News Article
    A new treatment to protect babies against a common and potentially dangerous winter virus has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main reason children under five end up in hospital. In a normal winter, RSV mostly causes coughs and colds which clear up in a couple of weeks - but it can be particularly serious in infants under the age of two, causing severe lung problems such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Every year, about 29,000 babies need hospital care for RSV and most have no other health issues beforehand. The new antibody treatment, called nirsevimab, from Sanofi and AstraZeneca, has already been shown to reduce lower respiratory tract infections caused by RSV by 74.5% in trials involving 4,000 babies. It works by preventing RSV from fusing to cells in the respiratory tract and causing infections. But it still needs more research in larger numbers of babies before it can be used on the NHS. Researchers now plan to investigate whether it can cut the number of babies needing hospital care for RSV, and are urging parents to sign up to their study. The study is open to newborn babies and those up to 12 months old. Only one visit for the antibody injection is needed, and follow-up sessions happen via an app. Co-study leader Dr Simon Drysdale, consultant paediatrician in infectious diseases at London's St George's Hospital, said the treatment could eventually be given at birth to offer protection for the first months of life, or during routine immunisations at two months old. Read full story Source: 10 November 2022
  22. News Article
    The health board in the Scottish Borders has said it is monitoring "unseasonably high" numbers of scarlet fever cases in the region. Parents have been asked to be aware of the symptoms so that early treatment with antibiotics can be given. Scarlet fever is a bacterial illness that mainly affects children under 10 but people of any age can get it. NHS Borders said it would usually clear up after about a week but anyone who thinks they or a child may have it has been asked to contact a GP for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. "Due to the contagious nature of scarlet fever, if you or your child has the illness, please stay at home for at least 24 hours after starting treatment with antibiotics," it added. Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 November 2022
  23. News Article
    A case of MRSA has been reported at the congested asylum processing centre at Manston in Kent, the Guardian has learned, after it emerged that Suella Braverman ignored advice that people were being kept at the centre unlawfully. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria was identified in an asylum seeker who initially tested positive for diphtheria. But the asylum seeker was moved out of the site in Ramsgate to a hotel hundreds of miles away before the positive test result was received, raising concerns about the spread of the infection. The Manston site is understood to now have at least eight confirmed cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious and potentially serious bacterial infection. Migrants are meant to be held at the short-term holding facility, which opened in January, for 24 hours while they undergo checks before being moved into immigration detention centres or asylum accommodation such as a hotel. But giving evidence to a committee of MPs last week, David Neal, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, said he had spoken to a family from Afghanistan living in a marquee for 32 days, and two families from Iraq and Syria sleeping on mats with blankets for two weeks. Conditions at the site left him “speechless”, he said. On a visit to the site on 24 October, Neal was told there were four confirmed cases of diphtheria. Protective medical equipment for staff has now been brought on to the site. Although diphtheria is a notifiable disease, meaning cases must be reported to authorities, those at Manston have not appeared on weekly public health reports. A Home Office spokesperson said it was “aware of a very small number of cases of diphtheria reported at Manston”, and that proper medical guidance and protocols were being followed. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 30 October 2022
  24. News Article
    The World Health Organization has published its first ever list of lethal fungal infections that represent a threat to public health. Experts have noticed an increase in deadly fungal disease, with drug-resistant bacterial infections now responsible for roughly 1.27 million deaths every year. “Fungal pathogens are a major threat to public health as they are becoming increasingly common and resistant to treatment,” WHO said. The types of fungal infections listed often affect severely ill patients and those with significant underlying problems with their immune system, including people with cancer, HIV or AIDs, organ transplants, chronic respiratory disease or tuberculosis. “Emerging from the shadows of the bacterial antimicrobial resistance pandemic, fungal infections are growing, and are ever more resistant to treatments, becoming a public health concern worldwide,” said Dr Hanan Balkhy, WHO assistant director-general, antimicrobial resistance, said. In its new report, the WHO warns that there is only limited access to quality diagnostics and treatment for these developing fungal diseases. Medicines are often unavailable in low and middle income countries, leading to increased deaths among these populations. One deadly fungal pathogen, Candida auris, which is resistant to multiple drugs, is particularly difficult to eradicate from hospitals - even with intensive infection prevention measures, the WHO said. This means hospital wards often have to be shut down for prolonged periods of time when Candida auris is detected. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 October 2022