Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Infectious Disease

Ebola Virus Disease: The Facts Are Important

By Holly Auer | November 6, 2014 | Comments SLP_1734- Brennan

Patrick J. Brennan, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. He is an infectious disease physician and a former director of tuberculosis control for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In this guest post, he writes to share important information about the Ebola virus... Read more

ID Week Comes to Philadelphia

By Steve Graff | October 9, 2014 | Comments IDweek2014_4Cfull

The annual infection diseases conference known as ID Week kicked off in Philadelphia yesterday, and it couldn’t be more timely. And it’s not just because of Ebola. A slew of other outbreaks have been in the public eye as of late: enterovirus, MERS, dengue fever. The program organizers have shifted... Read more

First City of American Medicine

By John Shea | September 26, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14092912/6c56fd3d-a799-4a1b-b4a5-2e7507cfcef8.png

Fifty years ago this month, The Philadelphia Bulletin devoted almost its entire Sunday issue to a look at Philadelphia’s place in the history of medicine. The cover featured a Penn doctor who was already an iconic figure -- I. S. Ravdin, former chair of Surgery. When the issue appeared, Ravdin... Read more

Double Trouble: How Parasitic Worms Weaken Antiviral Immunity

By Karen Kreeger | September 5, 2014 | Comments Artis CM cover warhol worms Sept 14

David Artis, PhD, professor of Microbiology and his team, including first author Lisa Osborne, PhD, demonstrated that mice already infected with parasitic helminths were worse at fighting viral infection. Read more

Ebola Prompts Extraordinary Precautions in Hospitals

By Steve Graff | August 22, 2014 | Comments Article-2714168-20347B4A00000578-650_634x482

We’ve all seen the vivid footage on the news these past few weeks: Two hospital workers donned in full body hazmat suits and respirators helping the Americans who fell victim to the Ebola virus out of an ambulance and into air-tight rooms. To many, it seems like the best way... Read more

Penn Medicine Remembers Victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight: A Loss to the HIV/AIDS Community

By Steve Graff | July 25, 2014 | Comments Ribbon

WHYY’s Radio Times’ show last Friday focused on much of the progress that’s been made in the world of HIV/AIDS research and care, but there was one terrible set back that had to be addressed. Earlier that morning, news broke that the Malaysia Airlines plane struck down over the Ukraine... Read more

Medical Missions: Now and Then

By John Shea | July 24, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14072413/3a1c8414-0d5a-413a-8f66-6cb13965d85b.png

Having been an editor of Penn Medicine publications for, um, several years, I’ve been privileged to learn about some of the many medical missions abroad that the institution’s physicians, nurses, and alumni have taken part in. Occasionally, our magazines have covered such initiatives. In the most recent issue of Penn... Read more

Summer Brings More Ticks—and a New Fight Against Them

By Steve Graff | July 2, 2014 | Comments Tick

Ticks of Pennsylvania beware. A new bill expected to be signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett will educate potential victims about you and the Lyme disease you carry, track cases, and pinpoint where you like to hang out. It’s not looking good. The bill—named the Lyme and Related Tick-Borne... Read more

Another Wound Bites the Dust - All-Star Team Treats Chronic and Complex Wounds

By Kim Menard | March 7, 2014 | Comments

The new Penn Center for Wound Healing and Reconstruction – to treat people dealing with unrelenting wounds – aims to simplify the process by bringing a cadre of specialists together, centering around patient needs.

Transcription Factors Key to Using T Cells Against Cancer, Chronic Infection

By Karen Kreeger | March 6, 2014 | Comments Wherry BATF spiral blog post Mar 14

Business is brisk in the lab of John Wherry and his team from the Department of Microbiology and the Institute for Immunology for papers on killer and helper T cells. Two studies -- bound by their focus on transcription factors important in the immune response – have come out of the lab in the last few weeks. And, they both identify potential new targets for cancer immunotherapies. Read more

Cancer in Waiting: Latency in Viral-Based Cancer Explained

By Karen Kreeger | February 18, 2014 | Comments image from http://aviary.blob.core.windows.net/k-mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp-14030517/22827cb4-f309-4eb4-8f67-c99412eeb936.png

The lab of Erle Robertson, Ph.D., professor of Microbiology, and program leader of Tumor Virology at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, has been studying how Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated Herpes Virus (KSHV) subverts normal cell machinery to cause cancer for more than a decade. Read more

New Hope on Horizon for Hepatitis C Patients

By Lee-Ann Donegan | January 31, 2014 | Comments

The 3.2 million Americans with hepatitis C may get some much-needed relief through a new regimen of all oral medications that are proving to cure most disease, with fewer side-effects than the current treatment options. The new medications are being testing in clinical trials here at Penn Medicine. Hepatitis C... Read more

Celebrating the Work of Medical Laboratory Professionals

By Karen Kreeger | April 30, 2013 | Comments Lab Week 2013 Poster Winner

To show its gratitude to all laboratory professionals, the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine celebrated Medical Laboratory Professionals Week April 22-26, with a host of activities, such as Phillies Night, in appreciation of all the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of staff and faculty members working in more than 30 different laboratories across the Penn campus. Read more

Defining the Traits of Transmitted HIV-1 to Make Better Vaccines

By Karen Kreeger | March 29, 2013 | Comments HIV Red Ribbon by Trygve.u Mar 13

Knowing the traits of HIV-1 strains capable of establishing new infections could be important for AIDS vaccine development. Read more

So You Think You’re Exhausted? War-Weary T Cells Have Us All Beat

By Karen Kreeger | December 20, 2012 | Comments Wherry Immunity image Dec 12

This time of year has me pretty run down, with birthdays, holidays, concerts, you name it -- all manner of good and bad stress that weighs on one’s immune system. But I never knew my T cells could get exhausted, too. Two papers from the lab of E. John Wherry,... Read more

Deadly Choices: A Penn virologist takes on the anti-vaccine movement

By John Shea | October 1, 2012 | Comments

Exhibit A: This year’s incoming class of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania was assigned to read Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, by Paul A. Offit, MD. Issued by Basic Books in 2011, the book came out this year in paperback. During... Read more

Connecting the Dots to an AIDS-Free Generation

By Holly Auer | July 25, 2012 | Comments Baligh_whitecoat_small

This week, HIV advocates, scientists, and patients gathered at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. – the first time in 22 years the meeting was held in the United States. The group’s charge: mapping out a strategy to usher in an AIDS-free generation. Read more

Sepsis: Deceptive and Deadly

By Holly Auer | July 20, 2012 | Comments ER_HUP_2012

Sepsis researcher David Gaieski, MD, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and clinical director in Penn’s Center for Resuscitation Science, spoke this week with several news outlets about the issues raised by the case of the 12-year-old New York City boy who died of sepsis after his infection apparently went undetected at his doctor and an emergency room. ABCNews.com explored the reasons why these infections can be so difficult to identify when they’re easiest to treat: Read more

Pharmacists Play Key Role in Reducing Medication Errors Among Hospitalized Patients

By Holly Auer | June 18, 2012 | Comments

Drugs used in hospitals are meant to save lives – to battle infections, kill cancer cells, control pain, steady uneven heart beats, and prevent blood clots from forming when patients are unable to get out of bed and move around. But despite these healing powers, medication errors are common, and the consequences can be severe. According to the Food and Drug Administration, medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people each year in the United States. And countless so-called "near-misses" with incorrect dosing or drug mix-ups go unreported. In response, the federal government and hospitals across the nation have made cutting medication errors a cornerstone of patient safety initiatives. Baligh Yehia, MD, MSHP, MPP, an Infectious Diseases fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, recently published a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases examining the prevalence of antiretroviral medication errors among hospital patients infected with HIV. Medication errors are a risk during hospitalizations of all kinds, but HIV patients are especially vulnerable. Read more

Among the “Unsung Heroes” of Patient Care

By Karen Kreeger | April 26, 2012 | Comments PLM NationalLabWeek_2012_forWeb

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PLM) is celebrating National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week April 22 to 28. Medical laboratory professionals are among the unsung heroes of patient care - the team behind the scenes who are “doing the best with every test.” Read more

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