CDC investigates cases of pediatric neurologic illness | 2nd child dies from enterovirus D68 | Few serious reactions with MMR vaccine in adults, study finds
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October 14, 2014
Family Medicine SmartBrief

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CDC investigates cases of pediatric neurologic illness
The CDC said as of Oct. 8 it has verified 17 cases in 12 states of acute neurologic illness in children who had experienced febrile illness, and it is looking at whether there is a link to the enterovirus D68 outbreak. AAFP Board Chair Jeff Cain, M.D., said children with the neurologic symptoms should be referred to a specialist and given supportive care including physical therapy and/or rehabilitation. AAFP News (10/13)
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2nd child dies from enterovirus D68
The death of 21-month-old Madeline Reid from Michigan became the second confirmed fatality directly associated with enterovirus D68, health officials said Saturday. The CDC said close to 700 people, mostly children, in 46 states and Washington, D.C., have been infected with the virus. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/13), NBC News (10/11), Reuters (10/11)
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Few serious reactions with MMR vaccine in adults, study finds
A decade's worth of study data on more than 3,000 adults who received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine show a low number of serious adverse reactions, according to CDC researchers. The study, presented at IDWeek, found that 134 pregnant women had been vaccinated, which is not recommended, and researchers said it indicates a need for better education about vaccine recommendations. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/13)
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Being overweight linked to early death in both blacks and whites
A study by the American Cancer Society revealed the risk of early death associated with excess weight was similar in both black and white patients, even when they did not smoke or have a major disease. The findings were published in the journal PLOS One. (10/13)
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Risk of metabolically unhealthy obesity increases with puberty
Children who maintained metabolically healthy obesity after one year were younger, less obese and more likely to be prepubertal compared with those who developed unhealthy obesity, a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism says. The results highlight the need to reassess cardiovascular risk factors in obese children who gain additional weight or enter puberty, researchers said. Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (10/10)
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Smoking tied to 14 million medical conditions in U.S.
An FDA study linked some 14 million cases of major medical conditions to smoking, an increase from the 12.7 million estimated by the CDC a decade ago. The study in JAMA Internal Medicine said the increase may be due to better survey methods or because people who have smoking-related illnesses are living longer. HealthDay News (10/13), Reuters (10/13)
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Practice Management
Many hospitals lack capacity for Big Data, analytics
A MeriTalk survey found that while hospital IT executives expressed positive views about tools to optimize EMR data, 96% of health groups said they lack the infrastructure to fully take advantage of Big Data, analytics and other tools. However, they say such technologies will help them save money, according to the report. Healthcare IT News (10/13)
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Health Policy & Legislation
U.S. must rethink ways to prevent Ebola outbreak, CDC director says
U.S. hospitals should become more knowledgeable about diagnosing and preventing Ebola infection, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said Monday. Following the death of Thomas Eric Duncan from Ebola, 26-year-old Dallas nurse Nina Pham tested positive for the disease, becoming the first known Ebola transmission in the U.S. "We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control because even a single infection is unacceptable," Frieden said. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (10/13), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/13)
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Professional Issues & Trends
Nearly 700,000 veterans used VA telehealth services
The Department of Veterans Affairs reported that about 690,000 veterans, or 12% of the overall VA health care population, used its telehealth services in fiscal year 2014. Many of the telehealth patients live in rural communities where access to care is limited. Among the initiatives was the TeleAudiology program that serves more than 10,000 veterans with hearing loss. Healthcare Informatics online (10/13)
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Alabama finds it difficult to recruit new physicians
Rural Alabama communities find it difficult to attract new physicians, and University of Alabama rural medicine professor John Wheat said it has led to "probably the worst shortage we've ever had." The problem is partly caused by changing reimbursements and a more complex medical field, but culture shock among urban physicians also is a factor. The Anniston Star (Ala.) (10/14)
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Inside the AAFP
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About AAFP
This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in Family Medicine SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to
External Resources are not a part of the AAFP website. AAFP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAFP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAFP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.
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