The annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America was held this year from Oct. 19 to 23 in Washington, D.C., and attracted participants from around the world, including scientists, physicians, and other health care professionals. The conference featured education courses and comprehensive educational programs that focused on the latest advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. The meeting also provided insight into emerging infections, new diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutic interventions.

In one study, Mona Marin, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease in Atlanta, and colleagues found that the varicella vaccine program in the United States has been highly successful. The program has made a significant public health and economic impact in the 25 years of program implementation by saving lives, avoiding sickness and hospitalizations, and preventing disruption to schools and family life.

The authors examined the outcomes of the ongoing varicella vaccine program in the United States. They found that the United States reached and maintained high varicella vaccine coverage (90 percent for one dose of the vaccine among children 19 to 35 months of age). Cases have declined overall by more than 97 percent, from about 4 million cases each year before the vaccine, making the disease now rare. Disease declined in all age groups, helping to protect people who are not eligible for vaccination and who usually have more severe illness (i.e., infants, immunocompromised persons, and pregnant women). The vaccine campaign also has had economic benefits, saving medical costs and lost wages due to parents having to stay home with sick children.

“Each year, about 3.8 million cases, more than 10,500 hospitalizations, and 100 deaths are now prevented in the United States as a result of varicella vaccination and reduction in the varicella-zoster virus circulation,” Marin said. “There has also been a substantial return on investment, with net societal savings of more than $23 billion over the vaccine program’s 25-year history.”

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In another study, Stephanie Richard, Ph.D., of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection increases the risk for reporting difficulties with exercise and daily activities among U.S. military members.

The authors evaluated daily exercise of U.S. military active-duty service members with COVID-19 infection. Participants completed survey fitness questions at one, three, six, nine, and 12 months after being enrolled in the study. These findings were compared to those of service members without COVID-19 infection. The investigators found that compared with those without SARS-CoV-2 infection, active-duty service member participants with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests were more likely to report new or increased difficulty with daily activities and exercising and were more likely to report that their service-mandated physical fitness test scores were affected. Impairment in daily activities and exercising peaked at one month after infection and appeared to return to pre-COVID-19 levels between six and nine months. Among those participants with COVID-19 infection, those with a history of vaccination had fewer post-COVID-19 difficulties in daily activities and exercising compared with those without a history of vaccination.

“Being fully vaccinated decreased the risk of reporting difficulties with exercise and daily activities by approximately 20 percent,” Richard said. “These results underscore the value of vaccination, not just for preventing death and disease but for preserving longer-term quality of life.”

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Valerie Vaughn, M.D., of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues found that using the right interventions at the time of diagnosis results in less unnecessary antibiotic use for the treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria.

Using a database of nearly 15,000 patients across 46 hospitals over a four-year period, the researchers found that the most effective way to prevent antibiotics being used to treat asymptomatic bacteriuria was to focus on preventing urine cultures from being obtained from patients who do not have symptoms.

“If a patient does not have symptoms of a urinary tract infection — such as frequency, urgency, or flank pain — don’t get a urine culture,” Vaughn said. “Antibiotic use for asymptomatic bacteriuria is one of the most clearly incorrect reasons for antibiotic use. As clinicians, we need to focus on not ordering cultures for these patients to help prevent downstream antibiotic use.”

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IDSA: Three-Dose Hepatitis B Vaccine Highly Protective in Persons With HIV

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For persons living with HIV, a three-dose hepatitis B virus vaccine adjuvanted to a TLR-9 agonist yields 100 percent seroprotection, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDWeek), held from Oct. 19 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

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IDSA: Vaccination Program Yielded Large Declines in Varicella Incidence

TUESDAY, Oct. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Varicella vaccination resulted in a 99 percent reduction in the incidence of varicella among persons aged younger than 20 years, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDWeek), held from Oct. 19 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

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IDSA: Long-Term Follow-Up Reported for Early Initiation of ART in HIV

TUESDAY, Oct. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Initiating antiretroviral treatment early in the course of HIV infection results in better outcomes compared with deferred initiation, although the difference in ongoing excess risk is reduced with long-term follow-up, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDWeek), held from Oct. 19 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

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