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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of August 13, 2017


#5: Iowa Infant Dies of Viral Meningitis Associated with Herpes Infection

Following the recent death of an Iowa infant who suffered complications after becoming infected with the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) likely due to a kiss, health experts are reminding the public that the virus can spread easily to babies.

Oral herpes is a highly contagious virus that is spread via oral-to-oral contact, such as kissing. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.7 billion individuals around the world have an HSV-1 infection, with the Americas having the lowest prevalence of the virus. HSV-1 is typically acquired during childhood and never goes away, though the infection is typically asymptomatic with most individuals unaware that they even have it. Visible symptoms of oral herpes appear as open sores or ulcers in and around the mouth, or sores on the lips known as cold sores. Less common is herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), a sexually transmitted infection affecting an estimated 417 million individuals worldwide. In rare cases, a woman infected with genital HSV-1 can pass the virus on to her baby during vaginal delivery, and less commonly, a baby can contract the virus through other forms of contact.

Continue reading about how herpes can affect infants, here.

#4:  Ingestible Smart Pill Can Remind Patients to Take Medications

Because the pill is still in its beginning stages of use at Rush, the patients are using hospital-provided iPads that allow nurses and doctors access to the patient’s medication use; however, Proteus also has an app that patients could use on their own smartphones.

Proteus is working with Rush to keep the cost of medication and the necessary technology to a minimum. Rush patients using smart pills are currently paying the same rates as they would for pills without sensory technology. Proteus has additionally raised more than $300 million for the smart pills.

Despite the plans for expansion, patients at Rush will typically only use the technology for about 3 months. Perry and colleagues at Rush hope that the use of Proteus pills will form daily medication habits in the patients after 3 months.

“From a behavioral perspective, experts would say you need to perform a behavior consistently for about 3 months to create a pattern,” said Dr. Perry.

Learn more about the ingestible smart pill, here.

Big advances in treatment can