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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of July 16, 2017


#5: FDA Approves Vosevi to Treat Those Infected with Chronic Hepatitis C

Those with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1-6 (with mild cirrhosis or without cirrhosis) now have a new treatment option. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved a new treatment option: Gilead Sciences’ fixed-dose, combination tablet, Vosevi.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a staggering 2.7 to 3.9 million individuals in the United States suffer from chronic HCV. With new infections occurring every day—particularly in light of the ongoing opioid epidemic—a new treatment option is particularly welcome.

Vosevi is a combination of 2 previously approved drugs—sofosbuvir and velpatasvir—plus a new drug called voxilaprevir. It is the first treatment approved for patients who have been previously treated with the direct-acting antiviral drug sofosbuvir, or other drugs for HCV that inhibit NS5A proteins, the FDA said in a statement.

More on the FDA’s recent approval of Vosevi is available, here.

#4: Investigators Scrambling to Find Source of Utah-Arizona E. coli Outbreak

Investigators are scrambling to identify a potential common source for an outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) along the Utah-Arizona border. The latest update provided by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) confirmed that there have been 11 associated cases thus far (5 in Utah and 6 in Arizona), with “the most serious cases” involving children, 2 of which have died.

E. coli are bacteria known to cause diarrheal illness,” David Blodgett, MD, MPH, SWUPHD Health Officer commented in the official press release. He continued, “Certain types of E. coli are more concerning than others. Some of the cases in this outbreak have been identified as the O157H7 strain, characterized by bloody diarrhea and serious complications. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families who have been affected.”

Anna Scherzer, MD, Mohave County epidemiologist, reported to the Mohave County Board of Health that 7 of the 11 infected individuals were hospitalized; 4 of the 11 were children that had hemolytic uremic syndrome and 2 of those children have died. Those 2 children lived in the same multi-family complex in Hildale, Utah; however, the children “were not related,” according to Food Safety News.

Read more about the Utah-Arizona E. coli outbreak, here.

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