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Hospitals As Infectious Disease Hotbeds

Posted Aug 31 2012 10:08pm
Posted on Aug. 30, 2012, 6 a.m. in Infectious Disease

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections can affect any part of the body, including the skin, blood stream, joints, bones, and lungs. They cannot be treated with antibiotics related to penicillin, and have become increasingly common since the late 1990s.  Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University HealthSystem Consortium (Illinois, USA)  estimate that hospitalizations increased from about 21 out of every 1,000 patients hospitalized in 2003 to about 42 out of every 1,000 in 2008, or almost 1 in 20 inpatients – representing a doubling of cases in a five-year period.  The findings run counter to a recent US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC; Georgia, USA) study that found MRSA cases in hospitals were declining. The CDC study looked only at cases of invasive MRSAinfections found in the blood, spinal fluid, or deep tissue-notably excluding infections of the skin.  Lead study author Michael Z. David comments that: “The rapid increase means that the number of people hospitalized with recorded MRSA infections exceeded the number hospitalized with AIDS and influenza combined in each of the last three years of the survey: 2006, 2007, and 2008,"

Michael Z. David; Sofia Medvedev; Samuel F. Hohmann; Bernard Ewigman; Robert S. Daum. “Increasing Burden of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Hospitalizations at US Academic Medical Centers, 2003–2008.”  Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, August 2012, pp. 782-789.

  
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32. Head Off Headaches, Joint Pain, Heart Disease, and Cancer
A compound found in olive oil, called oleocanthal, has anti-inflammatory properties much like those associated with the painkiller ibuprofen, an NSAID (see Tip 40), found U.S. researchers in 2005. Oleocanthal inhibits COX enzymes responsible for the inflammatory response implicated in headaches and joint pain. This study not only supports that regular consumption of olive oil might have some of the long-term health benefits of ibuprofen, but may help explain olive oil's widely reported health benefits such as in lowering the rates of heart disease and cancer in populations that consume it in large quantities (such as Mediterranean countries). The study authors conclude that "Our findings raise the possibility that long-term consumption of oleocanthal may help to protect against some diseases."
 
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