Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sleeping Sickness: Parasites - African Trypanosomiasis

African Trypanosomiasis, also called as "sleeping sickness," is caused by microscopic parasites of the species Trypanosoma brucei. It is carried by the tsetse fly (Glossina species), which is found only in rural Africa. Although the infection is not found in the United States, historically, it has been a serious public health problem in some regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, about 10,000 new cases each year are reported to the World Health organization; however, it is conceived that many cases go undiagnosed and unreported. Sleeping sickness is curable with medication, but is disastrous if left untreated.


All persons diagnosed with African Trypanosomiasis should get treatment. The specific drug and treatment course will depend on the type of infection (T. b. gambiense or T. b. rhodesiense) and the disease stage (i.e. whether the central anxious system has been invaded by the parasite). Pentamidine, which is the recommended drug for first stage T. b. gambiense infection, is widely available in the U.S. The other drugs (suramin, melarsoprol, eflornithine, and nifurtimox) used to treat African trypanosomiasis are available in the U.S. only from the CDC. Physicians can look up with CDC staff for advice on diagnosis and management and to find otherwise unavailable treatment drug.

Prevent and Control

Control of African trypanosomiasis rests on two schemes: reducing the disease reservoir and controlling the tsetse fly vector. Because humans are the significant disease reservoir for T. b. gambiense, the main control strategy for this subspecies is active case-finding through population screening, followed by treatment of the infected persons that are identified.

Monday, February 6, 2012

AFIX - Health Quality Improvement Strategy

AFIX (Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange) 

AFIX is a choice improvement strategy used by grantees to raise immunization coverage levels and improve standards of practices at the provider level. The acronym for this four-part dynamic scheme stands for

Assessment of the healthcare provider's vaccination reportage levels and immunization practices,

Feedback of results to the provider along with recommended strategies to better processes, immunization practices, and coverage levels,

Incentives to distinguish and reward improved performance, and

Exchange of healthcare information and resources require to facilitate improvement.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Aerosols Hazards & Exposures

This page provides links to a variety of information regarding the measurement, control, exposure characterization & health effects associated with aerosols in the workplace. The definition of an aerosol, as used here, is a suspension of small particles or droplets in the air, such as dusts, mists, or fumes. These particles may be inhaled or absorbed by the skin, & can sometimes cause adverse heath effects for workers. NIOSH has carried out extensive research to minimize the adverse health effects associated with aerosol exposures. Results of such research are available through the links on this page.

Aerosol Sampling

While looking for ways to improve the collection and analysis of bioaerosols, a NIOSH scientist has developed a brand spanking new design for a cyclone bioaerosol sampler. A cyclone sampler draws air in to a cylindrical chamber where the air flow is rotated. Particles of a sufficiently huge size move toward the walls of the chamber by centrifugal force, where they are collected.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Adverse Event Vaccine Reporting System (VAERS)

Vaccines are developed with the highest standards of safety. However, as with any medical procedure, vaccination has some risks. Individuals react differently to vaccines, & there is no way to foretell how individuals will react to a specific vaccine.
  • Detect new, unusual, or rare vaccine adverse events
  • Monitor increases in known adverse events
  • Identify potential patient risk factors for particular types of adverse events
  • Identify vaccine lots with increased numbers or types of reported adverse events
  • Assess the safety of newly licensed vaccines
Approximately 30,000 VAERS reports are filed yearly, with 10-15% classified as serious (leading to permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illnesses or death). Somebody can file a VAERS document, including health care providers, manufacturers, & vaccine recipients or their parents or guardians. The VAERS form requests the following information:

  • The type of vaccine received
  • The timing of the vaccination
  • The onset of the adverse event
  • Current illnesses or medication
  • Past history of adverse events following vaccination 
  • Demographic information about the recipient

Monday, November 28, 2011

Adverse Drug Events from Opioid Analgesics

In the United States, the use of opioids (narcotics) (analgesics) as part of pain management systems has contributed to an epidemic of poisoning. Between 1999-2002, the poisoning of opioid analgesics poisoning surpassed cocaine and heroin as the most common type of drug intoxication in death certificates.

The increase in drug intoxication coincides with an increase in the prescription of the main types of opioid analgesics, as physicians were encouraged to prescribe stronger analgesics (ie opioids) for pain management. When sales of opioid analgesics increased occurrences of opioid analgesics on death certificates increased at a similar rate. The overall objective should be to identify ways to reduce deaths from opioid analgesics without diminishing the quality of care of patients with a legitimate need for pain management.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Adverse Drug Events from Select Medication Classes and Antibiotics

Antibiotics are one of the major classes of drugs as a result of emergency room visits for adverse drug events. There are more than 140,000 visits to emergency rooms reactions to antibiotics each year. 

In general, antibiotics are responsible for almost one in five (19%) emergency room visits for adverse drug events

In children (18 years or less), antibiotics are the most common cause of emergency room visits for adverse drug events

Nearly four in five (79%) ED visits for antibiotic-associated adverse reactions are due to allergic reactions.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Adults and Elderly aAdverse Drug Events - Medication Safety

Medicines cure infectious diseases, avoid chronic diseases, and relieve pain and suffering for millions of Americans every day. But the medication can cause harm. When someone has been harmed by a medication, who have had an adverse effect. To reduce the risk of harm from adverse drug events than adults:

  •  Keep a list of your medicines 
  •  Follow directions 
  •  Keep up with the blood tests recommended by your doctor
  •  Some drugs require blood tests and these are more likely to cause serious adverse effects. 
  •  Unintentional overdose of painkillers cause many deaths 

Some medicines may not be effective in improving your health

Antibiotics can kill bacteria but not viruses. Most colds, coughs, throat, flu, sore throat and nasal congestion are caused by viruses. Taking antibiotics for viral infections not cure viral infections, prevent others from catching the disease, or help you feel better.