Infectious diseases

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.

Giving babies and toddlers antibiotics can increase the risk of obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Antibiotics are crucial tools in fighting illnesses, but over-reliance on them can have serious consequences. A new study found that babies who were given antibiotics in their first two years were significantly more likely to become obese.

Is hand sanitizer better at preventing the flu than soap and water?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

In an eight-month study of toddlers in day care, researchers compared handwashing with soap and water to frequent and rigorous use of hand sanitizer. While the results were better for the hand sanitizer group, the study conditions may not reflect real-world hand hygiene.

Meningitis vaccines: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most people who get viral meningitis get better without treatment, but bacterial meningitis is much more serious, and can be fatal. Meningitis vaccines can help protect against the most common bacteria responsible; two are given in infancy, and the third should be given before adolescence.