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Health Updates 9 May 2011

  • FDA clears fast MRSA test: “The FDA has cleared the first test that quickly distinguishes between methicillin resisitant (MRSSA) or methicillin susceptible (MSSA) Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria.  The KeyPath MRSA/MSSA Blood Culture Test determines is the bacteria is resistant or susceptible to antibiotics, in a positive blood culture sample,within about five hours after the growth is first detected, according to an FDA statement.”  “[The test]not only saves time in diagnosing potentially life-threatening infections but also allows healthcare professionals to optimize treatment and start appropriate contact precautions to prevent the spread of the organism” stated Alberto Gutierrez, PhD, of the FDA’s center for Devices and Radiological Health. (Cole Petrochko, MedPage Today)
  • Autism rates may be higher than suspected: “The study ‘is different in the sense that they are screening the entire population of children’ including those who have never been flagged with a potential problem, said Geraldine Dawson, chief scientific officer of the research and advocacy group Autism Speaks and an autism researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  ‘It raises a question, I think, of whether we are underestimating the prevalence in the US as well as elsewhere’.” (LA Times)
  • GOP’s Medicare proposals quiet down during debt talks: “Republicans had hoped changes to Medicare could be part of a sweeping deficit-cutting deal.  But just a few weeks after nearly all House Republicans cast politically risky votes for a plan to transform the popular health program, GOP leaders say such a far-reaching proposal isn’t likely to advance”. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Red wine before radiation?:  “The plant phenol resveratrol – that component of red wine touted for its antioxidant benefits in a handful of applications from preventing cancer to increasing longevity – may now have another indication: safeguarding against radiation-induced death…Currently there are no drugs that protect against death due to ionizing radiation.  But the researchers said that any compound with strong antioxidant properties may be beneficial because death is directly caused by the reactive oxygen species produced upon radiation exposure”. (MedPage Today)

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