Encounters with plague: tracing and preventing illness
In Madagascar, where a severe plague epidemic has unfolded since August 2017, the number of new infections is finally in decline. WHO is supporting health authorities to respond to the outbreak, from setting up specialized plague treatment units in health centres, to distributing medicines across the country. A particularly effective action has involved training teams to find people who have been in contact with a pneumonic plague patient – a system known as "contact tracing" – to help ensure these contacts are protected from falling sick themselves. Rakoto,* a 17-year-old man from Antananarivo, began feeling sick one day in October. Although he was coughing and spitting up blood for several days, Rakoto was reluctant to go to a health centre. The plague outbreak was in the news every day, and his family was concerned that he might be infected. When he eventually collapsed while visiting his aunt, Rakoto ’s father took him to a clinic.
Considering the opioid epidemic, safe alternatives to opioids for pain management is paramount. Effective non-pharmacological management of chronic pain requires individuals to initiate and maintain healthy behavior changes over time. To facilitate behavioral change, an in-depth understanding of mechanisms of action underlying the intervention is required. Supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund, the Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) program seeks to make behavior change research more impactful, targeted, and systematic by promoting a common, mechanism-focused, experimental medicine approac...
Opioid misuse, particularly among those with chronic pain, constitutes a significant public health problem and is associated with a host of negative outcomes. Despite efforts to curb this increasing epidemic, opioids remain the most widely prescribed class of medications. Prescription opioids are often used to treat chronic pain despite the risks associated with use, and chronic pain remains an important factor in understanding this epidemic. Cannabis is another substance that has recently garnered attention in the chronic pain literature, as increasing numbers of individuals use cannabis to manage chronic pain.
The widespread misuse and abuse of prescribed opioid pain relievers amongst chronic pain patients is a central contributor to the opioid epidemic. The current study aimed to identify potential risk factors and treatment targets that may reduce and prevent opioid misuse. The NIH's Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)-Abuse of Prescription Medication item bank (Rx-Abuse) was validated in both community and clinical samples to assess self-reported severity of medication abuse.
The experience of pain is different for everyone and there is considerable variability regarding pain perceptions. The recent opioid epidemic is a major source of stress for patients and clinicians alike. There is a significant need for comprehensive pain assessment and nonpharmacological treatments for pain. However, research suggests that nurses experience barriers related to the assessment and treatment of patients ’ pain. Such barriers may include not having enough time to work with patients, subjective pain assessments, medication-seeking behaviors, and lack of support from treating physicians.
Acute neuropathic pain (ANP) resulting from civilian and combat traumatic injuries has dramatic impact on society at large as it poses with significant personal and economic burden. With opioid abuse epidemic currently in public eye across all levels of society, it is pertinent new therapeutic modalities are needed to effectively treat and resolve ANP. Neuroinflammation is recognized as one of the primary drivers of acute neuropathic to chronic pain transition leading to prolonged disability and loss of productivity.
In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of a Codeine preparation for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.
The chronic pain and opioid epidemics have created an urgent need for effective, non-opioid analgesics. There is considerable evidence that the cholinergic system could be a promising target for novel drugs. Cholinesterase inhibitors and nonspecific muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) agonists are clearly antinociceptive in humans and animal models, but adverse parasympathetic side effects limit clinical utility. The mAChR family includes five subtypes (M1-M5) with different physiologic roles. Prior studies indicate that the M2 and M4 subtypes mediate analgesia, while the M2 and M3 subtypes mediate most deleterious side effects.
Madagascar ’s unprecedented outbreak of pneumonic plague is slowing down but the response must be sustained, WHO cautioned on Monday (November 27). “The worst of the outbreak is over, but we must stand ready to detect and respond to new infections until the end of the plague season in April 2018,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Have you ever thought that it would be possible to monitor drug overdoses, Zika cases or the spread of the flu in real time? Have you ever imagined that satellites wouldbe able to tell how and where a malaria epidemic will happen months before the actual outbreak? It is mind-blowing how, in the last years, digital maps developed to a level where they serve as effective tools for evaluating, monitoring and even predicting health events. That’s why I decided to give a comprehensive overview of digital maps in healthcare. John Snow, cholera and the revolution of maps in healthcare Before Game of Thrones monopolized Joh...
This article addresses whether Ebola may have been present in an urban setting in Athens in 430 bce and explores the historical importance of the ancient outbreak. New knowledge from today's West African epidemic allows a more accurate assessment of whether Ebola may have caused the Athenian outbreak than was once possible. The Athenian disease, whose etiology remains unknown, developed abruptly with fevers, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and hemorrhage. It originated in sub-Saharan Africa and was especially contagious to doctors and caregivers. No remedies were effective. But the few survivors who were r...