Top Infectious Disease News of the Week—February 4, 2018
FEB 10, 2018 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
#5: Could Good Oral Hygiene Help Protect Against Flu?
As the United States continues to get hit hard by widespread flu activity in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has deemed its most severe flu season since the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, health care practitioners continue to stress the importance of taking appropriate preventive measures.
It is well-known that one of the best preventive measures against the virus is to get vaccinated. Despite receiving backlash for not being effective enough, the current seasonal flu vaccine is still “a pretty darn good vaccine,” medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases William Schaffner, MD, told Contagion® in an interview.
Now, an Australian-based accredited dentist by the name of Dr. Steven Lin, notes that links between the immune system and oral hygiene suggest that practiced care for the mouth and teeth could potentially help individuals during flu season.
Read more about the potential connection between the immune system and oral hygiene, here.
#4: Oral Smallpox Treatment Gains FDA NDA Acceptance and Priority Review
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted SIGA Technologies, Inc's New Drug Application (NDA) for its oral formulation of the smallpox medication, tecovirimat (TPOXX). The treatment is a novel small molecule antiviral therapy for smallpox infection. The FDA has granted priority review to the application, which means that they should reach a decision in approximately 6 months. The target final action date is August 8, 2018.
Smallpox was deemed eradicated throughout the world in 1980 because of the availability of a protective vaccine; however, research on the highly contagious virus continues to this day given the potential for it to be used in biological warfare. Those individuals born after 1972, when the United States stopped routinely administering that vaccine, would be particularly vulnerable to an outbreak. Should SIGA's drug be approved, it will be the first treatment available for the deadly disease.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a recent briefing on flu season as 49 states report widespread flu activity.
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