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06 Oct

Can People Suffer from ‘Long Colds’ Like They Do Long COVID?

A new study finds people can suffer from prolonged symptoms after a non-COVID respiratory infection, such as a cold, the flu or pneumonia.

Health News Results - 42

Robust Gut Microbiome Can Help You Fight Infections

The bacteria colonizing your bowels play a key part in your risk for infection, new research shows.

A study of more than 600 people hospitalized with infections found their microbiomes had fewer bacteria that were able to produce a beneficial fatty acid called butyrate. 

The bacteria make butyrate as they digest the fiber people eat. It's been shown before that people fighting ...

Seniors, Stay Away From Young Kids to Avoid Pneumonia: Study

Sticky fingers, runny noses: Little kids are sweet, but they can also pass on dangerous germs to loving grandparents, new research confirms.

The study found that contact with pre-school and kindergarten-aged kids may be the leading transmission route for bacteria that can cause dangerous pneumonias ...

Your Toothbrush Could Be a Life Saver in the Hospital

A person's toothbrush could be a true lifesaver if they land in a hospital ICU, according to new evidence review.

Regular toothbrushing is associated with lower rates of death in the intensive care unit (ICU), shorter lengths of stay, and shorter times spent on a mechanical ventilator, researchers report in the Dec. 18 issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

That's bec...

Simple Antibiotic Switch for Pneumonia Patients Could Prevent Hospital Infection

A new study on Clostridioides difficile infections finds that choosing an alternative antibiotic for high-risk patients with pneumonia can reduce infection risk.

C. diff infections can be deadly, and they are often acquired by hospitalized patients taking broad-spectrum antibiotics.

More than 450,000 C. diff infections are reported in the United States eac...

Olympian Mary Lou Retton Suffers Setback in Battle With Rare Form of Pneumonia

Former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton has suffered a "scary setback" as she fights a rare type of pneumonia while in the intensive care unit of a hospital, her family said Wednesday.

The 55-year-old, who lives in the Houston area, had been "going on the up and up" earlier this week with loved ones "seeing so much progress," daughter Shayla Kelley Schrepfer posted on

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 19, 2023
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  • Full Page
  • Olympic Legend Mary Lou Retton Battling Rare Form of Pneumonia

    Olympic icon Mary Lou Retton -- the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal in women's gymnastics -- is in intensive care with a rare type of pneumonia and "not able to breathe on her own,"her daughter said on Instagram.

    She is "fighting for her life,"McKenna Lane Kelley said, but did not share additional information, the New York Times reported Wednesday.


    Vaccines Against Shingles, Pneumonia May Also Lower Your Alzheimer's Risk

    Certain adult vaccines, including shingles and pneumonia shots, may also help seniors fight off Alzheimer's disease, new research reveals.

    Prior vaccination with the shingles vaccine, pneumococcus vaccine or the tetanus and diphtheria shot, with or without an added pertussis vaccine, are associated with a 25% to 30% reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers from t...

    Could Dentures Raise Your Odds for Pneumonia?

    Dentures may hide harmful germs that cause pneumonia, British researchers report.

    For the study, the investigators took samples from the dentures of nursing home patients who did and didn't have pneumonia. They analyzed the samples to identify the types of microbes present. The researchers specifically looked for microbes that could cause pneumonia and if there were significant differenc...

    Can Patients With Pneumonia Be Weaned Off IV Antibiotics Earlier?

    Patients hospitalized with pneumonia typically stay on IV antibiotics until they're stable, after about three days, but a new study suggests a different option.

    Researchers report that more patients who have community-acquired pneumonia could switch sooner to oral antibiotics. Antibiotics given as pills were also linked with earlier release from the hospital. They were not associated with...

    Two Vaccines May Soon Shield Seniors Against RSV

    Older people have vaccines available to prevent severe influenza and COVID-19, but there's been nothing to protect against the third respiratory virus that contributed to this season's wretched "triple-demic."

    Until now.

    Two major pharmaceutical companies published clinical trial results this week that pave the way for an RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine to be available for...

    Getting COVID in Pregnancy Greatly Raises a Woman's Odds for Death

    COVID-19 infection in pregnancy raises a woman's risk of death sevenfold and significantly elevates her odds for needing intensive care, a new study finds.

    Getting the virus during pregnancy also ups the likelihood of pneumonia, according to researchers at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

    "This study provides the most comprehensive evidence to date suggesting that CO...

    CDC Warns of Possible Severe Flu Season Ahead

    Australia is experiencing its worst flu season in five years, and that doesn't bode well for the United States, federal health officials warned Tuesday.

    America's flu season often mirrors what unfolds in Australia, where winter spans April through October.

    Making matters worse, only 49% of Americans plan to...

    Long COVID May Bring Long-Term Lung Damage

    Even after a mild case of COVID, some people suffer breathing problems that last for months. Now, a new study suggests many of them may have abnormalities in the small airways of their lungs.

    Researchers found that of 100 patients with "long ...

    Exercise May Be a Buffer Against Pneumonia

    Regular physical activity has all sorts of benefits, and now researchers say it may help ward off serious pneumonia.

    Until now, it wasn't clear how exercise affected the risk of pneumonia, an infection of the lung tissue usually caused by bacteria or viruses. To find out, researchers ana...

    Why Are Gulf Coast Welders Dying From Anthrax-Like Disease?

    A common group of bacteria may be causing deadly pneumonia or anthrax-like disease among metalworkers in the southern United States, health officials report.

    The bacteria, called Bacillus cereus (B. cereus), naturally occurs in soil and dust. B. cereus can cause food poisoning and anthrax-like disease, but why it singles out welders and other metalworke...

    Antibiotic-Resistant Pneumonia Is Killing Children in Bangladesh -- Could It Spread?

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is causing deadly pneumonia infections among large numbers of children in the South Asian nation of Bangladesh, a rising threat that could one day reach American shores, experts warn.

    Doctors found these "superbug" bacteria in more than three of four children with a positive blood culture for bacterial pneumonia while being treated at a major Bangladesh hospi...

    Flu Shot Might Help Ward Off Severe COVID

    A flu shot might offer some protection against severe effects of COVID-19, a new study suggests.

    If you are infected with COVID-19, having had a flu shot makes it less likely you will suffer severe body-wide infection, blood clots, have a stroke or be treated in an intensive care unit, according to the study.

    "Our work is important," said study co-author Dr. Devinder Singh, noting l...

    Low-Dose Aspirin Cuts Heart Risks in Patients Battling Pneumonia

    Aspirin has long been taken by heart patients to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack, but a new study suggests that it can also guard against cardiovascular trouble in pneumonia patients.

    Such complications are common in pneumonia patients and strongly associated with a long-term risk of death.

    The study assessed whether aspirin could reduce the risk of heart attack and ische...

    Obesity More Deadly for Men Than Women When COVID Strikes

    It's long been known that obesity is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 in infected people. But new research suggests that the connection may be even stronger for men than women.

    Researchers at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City analyzed data from more than 3,500 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital between early March and May 1, 2020.

    Both moderate (a body mass index ...

    Doctors' Group Says Antibiotics Can Be Taken for Shorter Periods

    Millions of Americans have at some point in their lives gotten a long course of antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection. But according to new recommendations from a major U.S. doctors' group, some of the most common bacterial infections can now be treated with shorter courses of the drugs.

    The advice, from the American College of Physicians (ACP), says that for several types of infec...

    'Avoidable Hospitalizations:' Another Way the Pandemic Is Tougher on Minorities

    White Americans had a greater decline in potentially avoidable hospitalizations during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic than Black Americans, according to a new study.

    The findings suggest that Black patients may have had less access to outpatient care that could have helped keep them out of the hospital for non-COVID health problems.

    Researchers from the University of C...

    Does an Arthritis Drug Help Patients Battling Severe COVID? It Depends on the Study

    Two new studies suggest that the jury is still out on whether the arthritis drug tocilizumab helps those with severe COVID-19.

    Both reports were published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. The first, from scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found tocilizumab didn't improve outcomes or reduce the risk of death in patients with severe COVID-19 pneu...

    Even Low Levels of Air Pollution Harm Heart, Lungs

    Breathing in air that has even low levels of pollution poses a threat to older adults' heart and lungs, a new study warns.

    Researchers analyzed medical records of more than 63 million Medicare patients from 2000 to 2016. They found that long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution could increase the risk of pneumonia, heart attack, stroke and the irregular heart rhythm known as atria...

    Vaccines Saved 37 Million Lives, Mostly Children, Over Past Two Decades

    They're medical miracles: A new report finds that vaccines against 10 major diseases prevented 37 million deaths between 2000 and 2019 in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, with young children benefiting most.

    Vaccinations are also projected to prevent a total of 69 million deaths between 2000 and 2030, researchers say.

    Their modeling study also shows that vaccination again...

    Research Reveals Why COVID Pneumonia Is More Deadly

    Unlike regular pneumonia, COVID-19 pneumonia spreads like many "wildfires" throughout the lungs, researchers say.

    This may explain why COVID-19 pneumonia lasts longer and causes more harm than typical pneumonia, according to the researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

    The research team said that their aim is to make COVID-19 more like a bad cold.

    For the study, the te...

    Flu, Pneumonia Vaccines Save Lives of Heart Failure Patients: Study

    Flu and pneumonia vaccines lead to fewer hospital deaths among heart failure patients, a new study finds.

    "Our study provides further impetus for annual immunizations in patients with heart failure. Despite advice to do so, uptake remains low," said study author Dr. Karthik Gonuguntla, of the University of Connecticut.

    In heart failure, your heart can't pump blood as well as...

    Could the Flu Shot Lower Your Risk for Alzheimer's?

    Getting vaccinated to protect against pneumonia and flu may offer an unexpected benefit -- a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

    Two new studies being presented Monday at this summer's virtual Alzheimer's Association International Conference found a lower incidence of Alzheimer's in people who got flu and pneumonia vaccines. A third study underscored the importa...

    Pneumonia More Deadly Than Hip Fractures for Hospitalized Seniors

    Seniors hospitalized with pneumonia are much more likely to die in the hospital and within two years of leaving the hospital than those with hip fractures, new research shows.

    But many older people don't recognize the serious threat posed by pneumonia, the researchers said. The study took place in 2009 to 2015, years before the coronavirus pandemic and its respiratory effects became a...

    Asthma, COPD Raise Odds for Severe COVID-19, Lung Experts Warn

    People with asthma and other lung diseases are at increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19, caution experts from the American Lung Association.

    "Everyone's health is at risk from COVID-19, and those living with a lung disease or who are immunocompromised may be more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus," said Dr. Albert Rizzo, the association's chief medical officer.

    COVID-19 Infection Likely Worse for Vapers, Smokers

    Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 can probably expect a more severe infection, health experts warn.

    Many advisories have focused on the risk facing older people, those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, and people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients. But doctors also caution that users of electronic cigarettes and tobacco are more in danger from the new ...

    'Necrotizing Pneumonia' May Be New Vaping Hazard

    E-cigarettes were initially thought to be a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, but a recent outbreak of serious lung illnesses and deaths linked to the nicotine delivery devices called that belief into question.

    Now, a new case report details another type of lung illness in a 15-year-old girl who regularly used e-cigarettes: necrotizing pneumonia.

    Necrotizing pne...

    How to Prepare, Protect Yourself From Coronavirus

    With U.S. health officials this week declaring a domestic outbreak of coronavirus a "not if, but when" situation, one expert in infectious illness offers guidance on how you can prepare and protect yourself.

    First of all, if you do develop symptoms such as fever, congestion and coughing, "it's important to stay calm and not panic," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physic...

    Got Flu? Deal Quickly With Complications

    Fighting the flu can be an unpleasant experience -- but the misery may not stop there.

    When you have the flu, your immune system is under attack, making complications common. Other infections can weasel their way into your body, according to Libby Richards, an associate professor at Purdue University's School of Nursing in West Lafayette, Ind.

    Common complications include ...

    Vaping Could Up Risks for Asthma, COPD and Other Lung Diseases

    As if the news on vaping wasn't bad enough, a new study suggests that e-cigarette users are also at significantly higher risk of chronic lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD.

    Those risks rose even higher if vapers also smoked tobacco, researchers said.

    "What we found is that for e-cigarette users, the odds of developing lung disease increased by about...

    Cleaner Air Quickly Brings Big Health Benefits, Study Finds

    When people are breathing cleaner air, their health generally improves -- rapidly, in some cases, a new review shows.

    The report, from the Environmental Committee of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), details some of the evidence on air quality and human health. Overall, it concludes, people can reap a range of benefits when air pollution is cut -- from fewer as...

    Vaping May Have Triggered Lung Illness Typically  Only Seen in Metalworkers

    A lung disease that normally strikes in the workplace has been linked to vaping in a new report.

    A 49-year-old California woman who vaped marijuana came down with a form of pneumonia normally associated with exposure to hard metals in industrial settings, according to a case study published Dec. 5 in the European Respiratory Journal.

    The disease, called hard-metal pne...

    Uncontrolled Asthma a Danger to Pregnant Women, Babies

    Poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy puts mothers and their babies at increased risk for serious complications, a new study finds.

    Researchers analyzed more than 100,000 pregnancies in more than 58,000 women with asthma in Canada.

    Compared to those whose asthma was well-controlled, women who had severe asthma symptoms during pregnancy were 17% more likely to have hi...

    Adults Need Vaccines, Too

    Vaccines aren't just for kids, a doctors' group says.

    "Many adults are not aware that they need vaccines throughout their lives and so have not received recommended vaccinations," Dr. Robert McLean, president of the American College of Physicians, said in a college news release.

    "Adults should get a seasonal flu shot and internists should use that opportunity to make sure th...

    Many Pneumonia Patients Get Too Many Antibiotics

    Two-thirds of hospitalized pneumonia patients may be prescribed antibiotics for too long, increasing their risk for potentially harmful side effects, researchers say.

    In 93#37; of cases, overprescription involved the number of antibiotics patients received upon being discharged from the hospital.

    Each year in the United States, pneumonia sends 1 million adults to the hospita...

    Opioids Put Alzheimer's Patients at Risk of Pneumonia: Study

    People with Alzheimer's disease who take opioid painkillers are more likely to develop pneumonia, Finnish researchers report.

    The overall odds are 30% higher, especially in the first two months of use, the researchers found. And the risk is highest for those taking strong opioids such as oxycodone or fentanyl.

    However, pneumonia risk also rose among Alzheimer's patients ...

    How Getting a Flu Shot Could Save Your Life

    It's not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you in ways that may surprise you.

    The flu vaccine can be a lifesaver for people with heart disease, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Chang, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

    "Previous studies have shown influenza vaccination could reduce d...

    Prescription Opioids May Raise Pneumonia Risk

    People who take prescription opioid painkillers are at increased risk for pneumonia, especially those with HIV, a new study suggests.

    The findings support concerns that prescription opioids can weaken the immune system. Doctors who prescribe opioids need to reduce patients' risk of pneumonia through vaccination and by encouraging them to stop smoking, the researchers said.


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