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Infectious Diseases

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NEWS
September 16, 1996 | By Shankar Vedantam, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
A major new international health study reverses the recent flood of warnings about infectious diseases and predicts that the largest problems of the next quarter-century are likely to be chronic conditions, especially those that largely affect the elderly. This means that governments are spending too many of their health dollars on diseases such as AIDS, and too few on mental illness, heart disease and cancer, say the authors of the study, which was released yesterday by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
NEWS
September 13, 1997 | By David R. Smith
Without quick and decisive action in the battle against emerging infections, diseases we previously thought were on the verge of extinction may rear their ugly heads and provide us a Jurassic Park nightmare. Anyone familiar with the blockbuster movie knows the plot focused on DNA. Much as dinosaurs reemerged in this movie, we have seen new bacteria strains reappear as serious health concerns. Recent media stories have noted the discoveries of new strains of bubonic plague and staphylococcus with limited responsiveness to antibiotics.
NEWS
March 4, 1998 | By John Stamper, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
America is experiencing an alarming increase in infectious diseases, fueled in part by the easy flow of food and people around the world, newly appointed Surgeon General David Satcher warned yesterday. He said the U.S. death rate from infectious diseases, excluding HIV/AIDS, rose 22 percent from 1980 to 1992 because of outbreaks of new diseases, a resurgence of longtime killers such as tuberculosis, and development of antibiotic-resistant strains of other infections. "Emerging infectious diseases are a continuing threat to the health of U.S. citizens and of people around the world," Satcher told a congressional hearing.
NEWS
October 9, 1994 | By Huntly Collins, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Little more than a decade ago, scientists were claiming victory over infectious diseases. Smallpox, an ancient scourge that killed millions, had been eradicated from the face of the earth. Polio, too, was on the wane. And more common but potentially deadly infections, such as strep, were in retreat as antibiotics worked their wonders. But now, some of the old killers are back. New killers have emerged. And some of the bugs that scientists thought they had tamed with antibiotics have developed resistance to the drugs and become much harder to treat.
NEWS
March 6, 1998 | By John Stamper, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
With dangerous new diseases cropping up around the world and old ones such as tuberculosis morphing into drug-resistant killers, the Clinton administration has put together an aggressive $50 million plan to monitor and stop the invisible killers before they wreak havoc on Americans. The U.S. Agency for International Development has prepared a plan that would be a "first line of defense against infectious diseases for Americans," said Nils Daulaire, senior health adviser for the agency.
LIVING
April 7, 1997 | By Huntly Collins, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the battle between man and microbe, bet on the microbes, at least for the next three decades. That's how long it may take to develop the medicines, public health infrastructure and political will to combat new and emerging infectious diseases, according to Joshua Lederberg, a Nobel laureate geneticist. In the interim, the world is open to "major catastrophes" on the scale of the 1918 influenza epidemic, which killed more than 25 million people around the globe, including 500,000 Americans, Lederberg said.
NEWS
September 20, 2002 | By Seth Borenstein INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
One reason women tend to live longer than men may be that something is eating at men: parasites. Scientists have long known that men are more prone to dying from murder, suicide and accidents when they are young, and from cancer and heart disease when they are old. Now two new studies in today's issue of the journal Science point to parasites as a possible reason that more men than women die in their middle years. Human males are more than twice as likely to die from parasitic and infectious diseases as females are. There is a similar correlation between high male-vs.
NEWS
January 21, 1996 | By Shankar Vedantam, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU The Baltimore Sun contributed to this article
Even as medicines have become high tech and diagnostics more accurate, the plague of disease lives on. Deaths from infectious diseases in the United States soared in the '80s, as new germs emerged and old ones reemerged, scientists reported last week. The mortality rate for such diseases between 1980 and 1992 increased from 41 to 65 deaths per 100,000, a 58 percent increase, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. That amounts to more than 50,000 lives.
NEWS
June 23, 2008 | INQUIRER STAFF
Morphotek Inc. said today it has received $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop therapeutic antibodies to treat infectious diseases and illnesses caused by potential biowarfare pathogens. Morphotek, Exton, is the biologics development division of Tokyo-based Eisai Co Ltd., Japan's fourth-largest drug maker. Morphotek said it will use the funds to develop biologic-based monoclonal antibody therapies against staphylococcal-derived pathogens as well as staph itself.
NEWS
April 12, 2011
Morphotek Inc., Exton, said today that it received a $947,000 U.S. military grant to continue to develop antibodies to neutralize the toxic effects of neurotoxins. The grant, which follows an initial award of $2.3 million in 2007, is part of a Department of Defense project to protect civilians and military personnel against potential biowarfare agents. The company's specific target is botulinum neurotoxins. "DOD's funding for this program demonstrates the importance of developing non-animal derived and safe biological therapies to treat potential exposure to different weaponized BOTN subtypes," said Luigi Grasso, the company's chief scientific officer.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 16, 2015 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
Can a modified vegan diet - heavy on tofu, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low on saturated and trans fats - significantly help with heart disease? It's a question that Robert Fischer, head of the division of infectious diseases at Einstein Medical Center, considered last October, after his second coronary event in 61/2 years. On the surface, Fischer, 65, of Elkins Park, appears to be an unlikely candidate for heart disease. He exhibits none of the usual risk factors.
NEWS
March 7, 2014
M AX PERELMAN, 37, of East Falls, is co-founder and head of business development for Philly start-up Biomeme. Backed by DreamIt Ventures, Biomeme has a device that will turn your smartphone into a mobile DNA-replicating machine to help point-of-care clinicians quickly diagnose and track infectious diseases. Other co-founders are Jesse vanWestrienen, 30, of Old City, and Marc DeJohn, 44, of East Falls. Q: How did you come up with the idea for Biomeme? A: Marc and Jesse have backgrounds in bioscience and engineering and had been working on a mobile-diagnostics device.
NEWS
November 13, 2013 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
PRINCETON Princeton University has been hit with its seventh case of meningitis since an outbreak that began last spring, a university spokesman said Monday. The latest case was reported over the weekend, when a male student became acutely ill and underwent treatment at the campus health center, spokesman Martin A. Mbugua said. The student was later taken to a local hospital, where meningitis was diagnosed early Sunday, Mbugua said. The student remained in the hospital Monday. Health officials are conducting tests to determine whether the student has type B meningococcal bacteria, the type contracted by six other Princeton students this year.
NEWS
July 28, 2013
The number of teenage girls in the United States vaccinated against human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer, has not risen, though the shot can dramatically reduce the risk of the virus. Vaccinations among 13- to 17-year-old girls remained unchanged last year from 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fifty-four percent of the teenagers received one dose of HPV vaccine and 33 percent got all three prescribed doses, the CDC reported.
NEWS
June 13, 2013 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
ALTHOUGH RELIGIOUS freedom is protected under the First Amendment, prosecutors say the law can get involved if there is reason to believe a child is in danger due to lack of medical care. "If the police come or if somebody calls the police and they see something, just like child abuse, anything like that would be investigated or looked at or somebody could intercede," said Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, who is prosecuting Herbert and Catherine Schaible for a second time.
NEWS
January 28, 2013 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Out of sight of their patients, the doctors and staff at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were holding onto each other and crying in back offices, in shock over the slaying of Melissa Ketunuti. At some point, the news reports describing details of the pediatrician's killing Monday became so relentless that her colleagues needed desperately to end the noise and talk about her life. So, on Thursday, "we simply commandeered the hospital's chapel," said Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases and Ketunuti's supervisor.
NEWS
January 28, 2013 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer zalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
WHEN ONE of Melissa Ketunuti's patients would mispronounce a word, instead of correcting it, the pediatrician would take on the mispronunciation. "She would actually acquire the mispronunciation as a way to make the person more comfortable," said Paul Offit, chief of the infectious diseases division of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who mentored Ketunuti. "She was that thoughtful. " Within a year, Ketunuti, 35, was to travel to Botswana to live out her life's dream of working with children who suffer from AIDS, Offit said.
NEWS
January 26, 2013 | By Alfred Lubrano, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Out of sight of their patients, the doctors and staff of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were holding onto each other and crying in back offices, in shock over the slaying of Melissa Ketunuti. At some point, the news reports describing details of the CHOP pediatrician's death Monday had become so relentless that her colleagues needed desperately to end the noise and talk about her life. "So we simply commandeered the hospital's chapel on Thursday," said Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases and Ketunuti's supervisor.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
OVER THE NEXT few days, we'll all get to know Jason Smith. He's the 36-year-old Levittown dirtbag who, police said, has confessed to killing Dr. Melissa Ketunuti. We'll learn where he was born and went to school. We'll get the rundown on his exterminating job. We'll find out what neighbors made of him, before they were sickened by news from police that he strangled Ketunuti on Monday, then set her body on fire. And we will hear his version of the events that allegedly provoked him to kill Ketunuti.
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