Infectious diseases

Bad viruses travel fast: Measles vaccine important for travelers

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

Because measles is so highly contagious, and because there is a significant delay before symptoms manifest, a person can carry the virus and infect others without knowing it, and many adults may not have received an effective dose of the vaccine. Many outbreaks of measles could probably be prevented if more travelers received MMR vaccine prior to foreign travel.

New donor screening protocols for clinical trials involving fecal microbiota transplantation

The FDA has issued a safety alert about the risk of transmitting drug-resistant bacteria during a stool transplantation procedure, after the death of one person participating in a research protocol.

Are antibacterial products with triclosan fueling bacterial resistance?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The FDA has banned the antibacterial agent triclosan from soaps starting in 2020. It’s still used in mouthwash, cosmetics, toothpaste and other household products and there are still concerns that striving to rid our environment of bacteria and germs helps fuel bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Measles: The forgotten killer

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

Measles has serious, even fatal complications. A worrisome multistate outbreak underscores why preventing measles is so important. Here’s how to protect yourself, your circle, and your community –– and why you should.

Herpes infection of the cornea

Emma Davies, MD

Contributor

Different forms of the herpes virus can cause infection of the cornea that can result in pain, redness, and blurred vision. If not treated, permanent vision loss may result.

Stool transplants are now standard of care for recurrent C. difficile infections

Stool transplantation has become a standard treatment for people who have had multiple recurrent episodes of a bacterial infection; although the procedure has not been approved by the FDA, the success rate is high and the procedure is very safe.

The latest deadly superbug — and why it’s not time to panic

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Infections from a drug-resistant fungus have been occuring around the world for the past decade. It’s not cause for panic, but it’s wise to understand the facts and ways to protect yourself.

Baby boomers and hepatitis C: What’s the connection?

Because those in the baby boom generation account for around 75% of hepatitis C cases, the CDC and USPSTF are recommending that all baby boomers should get screened for the hepatitis C virus.

4 things everyone needs to know about measles

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The number of measles cases in the US in 2018 more than tripled over those in 2017, and early numbers for this year suggest a continued surge. It’s important for everyone, but especially parents, to know about the virus, its potential complications, and the facts about the vaccine.

What to do if you think your child has the flu

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

We are in the midst of an active flu season, so if you think your child may have the flu, following this advice will help you and your family get through it a little more easily.