Tag Archives: CDC

What Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Clinicians Need to Know about MERS

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released recommendations regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Critical care and emergency medicine clinicians should be alert for patients who:

  • Develop severe acute lower respiratory illness within 14 days after traveling from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula, excluding those who only transited at airports in the region; or
  • Are close contacts of a symptomatic recent traveler from this area who has fever and acute respiratory illness; or
  • Are close contacts of a confirmed case

Clusters of patients with severe acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever and pneumonia requiring hospitalization) without recognized links to cases of MERS-CoV or to travelers from countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula should be evaluated for common respiratory pathogens. If the illnesses remain unexplained, providers should consider testing for MERS-CoV, in consultation with state and local health departments. Healthcare professionals should immediately report to their state or local health department any person being evaluated for MERS-CoV infection as a patient under investigation.

CDC Urges Better Antibiotic Stewardship

A new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that clinicians in some hospitals prescribe three times as many antibiotics than clinicians in other hospitals, even though patients were receiving care in similar areas of each hospital. In addition, about one-third of the time, prescribing practices to treat urinary tract infections and prescriptions for the critical and common drug vancomycin included a potential error – given without proper testing or evaluation, or given for too long. The report also found that, in hospitals, a 30% reduction in use of the antibiotics that most often cause deadly diarrheal infections with Clostridium difficile can reduce these infections by more than 25%. The same antibiotics also prime patients for future super-resistant infections.

To help hospitals develop antibiotic stewardship programs, CDC released practical tools that include seven key elements, a self-assessment checklist, and an in-depth implementation document.

The Vital Signs report follows several calls to action from CDC on antibiotic resistance including the Antibiotic Resistance Threats to the United States, 2013 report, the Get Smart about Antibiotics Week, and the upcoming coming Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance 2013 report.