U.S. Senators unanimously passed legislation Tuesday, the Enhancing Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act, that aims to improve health care in rural areas.
The bipartisan bill aims to better integrate the Project ECHO model into health systems across the country. Project ECHO, an innovative continuing medical education model, uses interactive videoconferencing to link specialist teams (hubs) with primary care providers (spokes) in rural and underserved areas.
Sen. Joe Manchin said communities like these in West Virginia face unique challenges when it comes to access to health care.
A dentist put nearly 600 veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin at risk of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C after failing to follow standard sanitation procedures. The VA is now offering free screenings.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced Tuesday that a dentist’s failure to use sterilized equipment put close to 600 patients at its Tomah hospital at risk of diseases like HIV or hepatitis. While there have been no reports of infections since it was reported on October 20, the VA has pledged to provide treatment to any veterans that are found to be infected.
The screenings were announced after a dentist hired in October 2015 was discovered to be reusing drill bits without proper sterilization, while the VA requires dentists only use each drill bit once, the La Crosse Tribune reported.
A federal report released Tuesday found that syringe exchange programs can curb the risk of HIV infections — news that comes less than a month after the Utah Department of Health began enrolling agencies in its own program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that HIV diagnoses among individuals who injected drugs in the U.S. decreased between 2008 and 2014 — 6,604 and 3,461, respectively. And since 1993, the number of AIDS diagnoses among people who injected drugs has decreased 90 percent, in part because of syringe exchange programs, center director Tom Frieden said Tuesday.
Still, in 2015, only 25 percent of people who injected drugs reported using only sterile syringes and needles, the report found, and 33 percent reported sharing syringes in the past year.
The sharing of dirty needles among injection drug users is a method of direct transmission of bloodborne disease such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Syringe exchanges can provide sterile needles, along with offering or referring drug users to disease prevention education, care and treatment.
With an opioid epidemic sweeping the country, needle exchanges could help prevent disease outbreaks.
One problem with making sure that people who get treatment for hepatitis C while in prison complete their antiviral regimens is lack of follow-up when they are released.
In a presentation at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans, LA, Matthew Akiyama, MD, of New York City’s Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and colleagues described a new program coordinating community and jail-based Hepatitis C intervention. The initiative is showing early signs that it keeps patients connected to care outside of the institution.
Through statistical analysis of New York City Department of Health records from 2014 through early 2015 for Hepatitis C in the Correctional-Community Continuum of Care: Poor Baseline Linkage Rates and Early Improvement with Care Coordination researchers determined the rate of patient “linkage” to HCV treatment in the critical days after release from incarceration.
Article: Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Cancer Risks: A Population-based Cohort Study
Author/Source:Jean Marie Arduino, Abstract 820
Updated Abstract Information
There were 13,315 patients identified with HCV and 38,991 patients without HCV who met the inclusion criteria. The people with HCV were more likely to be male, white, and have Medicare Advantage plans compared to the people who were HCV-negative. The average follow-up was 1.4 years for the group with hepatitis C and 1.5 years for the group without hepatitis C.
Conclusion: The people who were HCV positive were more likely to have diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease (lung disease), congestive heart disease, liver disease, renal (kidney) disease, AIDS and hepatitis B. Additionally, there was also an association between hepatitis C and liver and non-liver cancers (especially lung, pancreas and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma),
The authors noted that their study supports previous studies that have shown that there is an association between cancers and chronic hepatitis C infection.
Editorial Comments: It is well known that hepatitis C infection increases the risk of other diseases including certain types of cancers. This study should reinforce that 1). We need to increase the number of people we test for hepatitis C and provide supportive and medical services 2). We should be monitoring people with hepatitis C for other conditions especially cancers, and 3). We should treat and cure hepatitis C as soon as people are diagnosed to prevent the beginning and the progression of various illnesses including cancers.
We know that chronic hepatitis C infection is not just a liver disease—it affects just about every organ in the body.
Mylan has entered into a sub-licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a UN-backed public health organisation, to expand access to chronic hepatitis C medicines in developing countries.
Under the agreement, announced yesterday, November 28, Mylan will produce and market a generic version of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Daklinza (daclatasvir).
The generic drug will be distributed in 112 low and middle income countries.
A new study of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients shows untreated hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) leads to a more precipitous decrease in kidney function, a decline more likely to become end-stage renal disease (ERD).
Reporting at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans, LA, Sara Tartof, PhD, MPH, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) Research & Evaluation Department in Pasadena, CA, and colleagues found CKD patients with untreated HCV were one and a half times more likely to suffer 25% decrease in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and 2.5 times more likely to develop ERD.
The Impact of untreated Hepatitis C Infection on Progression of Renal Decline among Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease, compares data on 150,712 CKD patients and 1,706 with both HCV CKD. Patient data included men and women aged 18 and older diagnosed from 2004-2014 at Kaiser Permanente in southern California and Mid-Atlantic states.