Ladies, take note: The CDC will test your bladder

New Cluzel Antiviral Pills Offer Hope as Omicron Looms

Since a flu season is often marked by severe illness, a spike in hospitalizations and deaths, the CDC hopes that the arrival of new antiviral drugs, especially Cluzel, will help rein in the growing wave of deaths this season.

The new drugs are being offered on the National Influenza Vaccine Program for the first time. First available in Canada and Australia, two versions of Cluzel are being offered for the first time in the United States. The new drugs will be available only to patients in the highest risk groups — the elderly, the very young and those with serious underlying health conditions. They are available at the local pharmacy, for a cost of around $300, but they are not covered by health insurance.

The antiviral treatment helps prevent the spread of flu but does not cure it, and some viruses may become resistant. Patients who have to be hospitalized do have access to a second drug, rifaximin, which can be used to treat their symptoms.

The CDC also announced two new pneumonia vaccines for this year, the second in a long-term series of updates. While the first new kind is a higher-priority vaccine for high-risk populations such as the elderly, the second is recommended for people who live in high-risk groups and have not had a good flu shot in the past or for someone at risk of pneumonia. The CDC says in high-risk groups like the very young and the elderly, who may be hospitalized with pneumonia and be at increased risk of death if they don’t get the pneumonia vaccine, they should get it in October or November and then again in April, if possible.

The new vaccines were developed and approved by an independent Food and Drug Administration committee, which includes scientists and medical experts, and can be immunized if they have access to an updated cold chain, which can be provided by the manufacturer. About 30 million doses are planned for production this year.

New guidelines for Encephalitis

This season is the first time the CDC has come out with the latest recommendations for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis. The vaccine has been available since 2008, but the CDC hopes to make the vaccine mandatory in some of the groups most at risk, including college students.

There have been two outbreaks in Maryland and Virginia this year, both a result of people bringing home respiratory infections from a refugee camp in the Philippines. In Maryland, the virus killed two college students and sickened more than 20 others. In Virginia, two students were hospitalized and one died from the illness.

The new recommendations, which were also issued jointly by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Neuro-Oncology, say that the most effective and important treatment for cryptococcal meningitis is the oral meningitis vaccine, which is approved for people ages 6 to 26. The CDC estimates that around 30 percent of the most at-risk people who receive this vaccination receive it. However, the new recommendations make clear that those who have not been vaccinated should receive it anyway, and that this is especially important for people from the most at-risk groups. Those are people aged 6 to 23, as well as young people attending college and entering the workforce. Those groups make up about 34 percent of all cases of coinfection, which means getting infected with meningitis.

Although the vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective for some time, the CDC estimates that only 15 percent of meningitis cases are diagnosed with the meningitis caused by infection by a virus, while most other cases are due to a bacterium called Neisseria meningitidis.

As for current treatments, the current cold-chain vaccine is the usual initial treatment for most cases, and a few doctors prescribe antibiotics before or after the injection. Antibiotics can be used to kill bacteria, but not the virus that causes meningitis, and some people develop a resistance. This can happen very early in the illness, but if it happens later, the use of antibiotics has less impact. But studies show that when there is no evidence of resistance, using antibiotics can lead to more complications and hospitalizations.

The CDC updated its emergency infection guidelines last week, focusing on baculovirus — a different kind of infectious disease that also causes the illness bacteremia (blood infection) among hospitalized children.

Doctors’ recommendations on what to do depends on the seriousness of the illness and the patient’s risk.

Other recommendations for bacteremia in children

In bacteremia, the illness, which also causes bacterial pneumonia, can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms aren’t consistent with typical

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