Tag Archives: Internet Research

Thousands of New Jobs: ‘We need an army’: Hiring of coronavirus trackers is likely set to soar

>How Contact Tracing Works And How It Can Help Reopen The Country

(I believe there will also be huge opportunities to work from home on the phone and online as part of the contact tracing teams — DH)

“Massachusetts is launching a statewide effort, hiring 1,000 contact tracers in partnership with Partners In Health, an international health nonprofit with experience in the developing world. Qualifications include a high school diploma or equivalent, the ability to speak and write in English, and the “ability to show empathy to distressed individuals.” San Francisco has also been scaling up its contact tracing workforce.


“K.J. Seung is surprised to be hiring and training new workers in Boston.His public health nonprofit, Partners in Health, specializes in helping the poorest people in developing nations — tracking down contacts of Ebola patients in Liberia and Sierra Leone; running child health and HIV clinics in Haiti; and operating tuberculosis control programs in Peru.

“But now it is advertising for 500 people to help do what’s known as contact tracing to try to control Covid-19 in Massachusetts. It’s the first step in the next stage of fighting the pandemic. Boston-based Partners in Health has trained 12,000 community health workers in countries including Malawi, Mexico, and Rwanda and now it will help train a battalion of workers in Massachusetts to interview everyone diagnosed with Covid-19 and find other people who may have been infected by them.

“New digital tools could help. Combined with more widespread testing, contact tracing is seen as an essential part of the strategy for keeping the coronavirus in check after the first wave recedes and the economy reopens. But the work is highly labor-intensive, and public health departments across the U.S. have been woefully underfunded for years.

“This is going to test the capacity of the existing public health system,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “I don’t know if we have enough staff in public health departments to do that.” Hence the hiring spree kicking off in Massachusetts and a few other places.Partners in Health is working with state officials in Massachusetts, who say they will eventually deploy nearly 1,000 people to do contact tracing.

Read full story at Source: >’We need an army’: Hiring of coronavirus trackers is likely set to soar

Online Health Information: Is It Reliable?

Join the forum discussion >What do you do to check medical information from the internet?

“Topics in >Online Health Information: Is It Reliable?:
Where Can I Find Reliable Health Information Online?
Questions to Ask Before Trusting a Website
Health and Medical Apps
Social Media and Health Information
Trust Yourself and Talk to Your Doctor

“Many older adults share a common concern: “How can I trust the health information I find on the Internet? ”There are thousands of medical websites. Some provide reliable health information. Some do not. Some of the medical news is current. Some of it is not. Choosing which websites to trust is an important step in gathering reliable health information.

Where Can I Find Reliable Health Information Online? The National Institutes of Health website is a good place to start for reliable health information. As a rule, health websites sponsored by Federal Government agencies are good sources of information. You can reach all Federal websites by visiting >www.usa.gov.

Large professional organizations and well-known medical schools may also be good sources of health information. >MedlinePlus.gov is a website from the NIH’s National Library of Medicine that has dependable consumer information about more than 1,000 health-related topics. Use their >online tutorial to learn how to evaluate health information online.

“Questions to Ask Before Trusting a Website
As you search online, you are likely to find websites for many health agencies and organizations that are not well-known. By answering the following questions (in the source below), you should be able to find more information about these websites. A lot of these details might be found in the website’s “About Us” section.

Continue at Source: >Online Health Information: Is It Reliable?

Suspect Stem Cell Treatments Touted for Knee Arthritis

(All of the text below was obtained from Medscape articles. Medscape credentials are presented at the end of this article)

>Video: Stem Cell Clinics: Cutting-Edge Treatments or Cash Grab? (video takes time to load)

>Elite Hospitals Plunge Into Unproven Stem Cell Treatments

“Hundreds of clinics in the United States are selling stem cell treatments for knee osteoarthritis without solid evidence of their claims, researchers warn.

“People’s expectations have gotten ahead of the science,” said investigator George Muschler, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic, and orthopedic surgeons must be prepared to help their patients evaluate these claims.”

The quality of the literature is relatively sparse,” he told Medscape Medical News. In a previous study that Muschler was involved in, investigators conducted a systematic review of stem cell treatments for knee osteoarthritis and focal cartilage defects of the knee, and found only four randomized controlled trials and two well-designed controlled trials without randomization (J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016;98:1511-1521). The other 420 reports they identified were not well-designed trials…

This has not, however, stopped clinics from offering these treatments. Muschler and his colleagues examined the current market for stem cell treatment for knee osteoarthritis, and presented their results here at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 2018 Annual Meeting. The findings were previously published online (J Knee Surg. Published online July 24, 2017).

“At the 65 centers that provided pricing information for a same-day stem cell unilateral knee injection, the mean cost was $5156, but prices ranged widely — from $1150 to $12,000. Muschler and his colleagues interpreted this to mean that the prices were not related to fixed costs, but rather to the amount that the clinics wanted to charge for their labor.

Insurance companies do not reimburse for these unproven treatments, so some patients could be paying more for the treatment than for a total knee replacement, the team pointed out.”

Source: >Suspect Stem Cell Treatments Touted for Knee Arthritis

“Two systematic reviews have questioned the quality of the studies of stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis, citing high risk of bias, low quality of evidence, only modest improvement reported, and possible placebo effect. Nevertheless, a survey identified hundreds of clinics in the United States that offer stem cell therapy for knee arthritis, at prices ranging from $1150 to $12,000 for a unilateral injection. In many cases these injections would consist of centrifuged blood or bone marrow aspirate rather than cultivated stem cells.”

Source: >Stem Cell Therapy

Osteoarthritis Treatment & Management

“Approach Considerations
The goals of osteoarthritis treatment include alleviation of pain and improvement of functional status. Optimally, patients should receive a combination of nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic treatment.

Nonpharmacologic interventions, which are the cornerstones of osteoarthritis therapy, include the following:

Patient education
Heat and cold
Weight loss
Physical therapy
Occupational therapy
Unloading in certain joints (eg, knee, hip)
A physiatrist may help in formulating a nonpharmacologic management plan for the patient with osteoarthritis, and a nutritionist may help the patient to lose weight. A referral to an orthopedic surgeon may be necessary if the osteoarthritis fails to respond to a medical management plan. Surgical procedures for osteoarthritis include arthroscopy, osteotomy, and (particularly with knee or hip osteoarthritis) arthroplasty.

Several organizations have issued guidelines on the treatment of osteoarthrits, with recommendations keyed to the affected joints (ie, hand, knee, hip). An assessment of several treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) determined the following :

Home-based exercise programs and tai chi show short- to medium-term benefits for symptoms (primarily pain, function, and quality of life) but data on long-term benefits are lacking
Strength and resistance training, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation show mostly short-term benefits, whereas agility training shows both short- and long-term benefits.
Weight loss and general exercise programs show medium- and long-term benefits.
Intra-articular platelet-rich plasma, balneotherapy, and whole-body vibration show medium-term benefits.
Glucosamine-chondroitin and glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate alone show medium-term benefits with no long-term benefits for pain or function.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy continues to be a promising investigational approach to knee osteoarthritis. However, the improvement reported with stem cell therapy has been modest, a placebo effect remains possible, and the quality of the supporting evidence has been questioned.  In addition, the variability in mesenchymal stem cell injection, including timing, frequency, and culturing mode, warrant further research, as does the possible long-term risk.”

More details of each treatment found at Source: >Osteoarthritis Treatment & Management

>Medscape . Medscape is the leading online global destination for physicians and healthcare professionals worldwide, offering the latest medical news and expert perspectives; essential point-of-care drug and disease information; and relevant professional education and CME. Medscape, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
>Medscape Awards, What Clinicians Say and a Look at Us


Steffanie Strathdee uses the internet to save her husband and start a groundbreaking treatment for superbugs.

Steffanie Strathdee: ‘Phages have evolved to become perfect predators of bacteria’ | Science | The Guardian

Amazing story how a woman who snatched her husband from the jaws of death by using the internet “correctly”, starting a groundbreaking field of development to attack the superbug crises.

“In 2015, the scientist’s husband was almost killed by an antibiotic-resistant superbug, until she found a cure that is now saving others, Steffanie Strathdee and her husband, Thomas Patterson. His picture shows the superbug that nearly killed him; hers the phage that saved his life. Photograph: Courtesy of Steffanie Strathdee / UC San Diego

>Amazon Book Link

>LIsten to NPR Interview

“Health Infectious disease epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee’s husband survived a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection thanks to her suggestion of using an unconventional cure popular in the former Soviet Union: fighting the bug with a virus.

“Now the global health expert at the University of California, San Diego, she has, along with her husband, Tom Patterson, who is also a scientist at the institution, written an account of their nine month ordeal – The Perfect Predator: A Scientists’s Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug.

“We were running out of options to save Tom, whose infection had spread throughout his body, so I started exploring unconventional cures. I found a paper that mentioned phage therapy. Although I’d learned of phages in college, this was the first I had heard of using them as a treatment. My colleague Chip Schooley, chief of infectious diseases at the UCSD school of medicine, agreed it was an interesting idea and said if I could find phages that matched Tom’s bacterial infection he would contact the Food and Drug Administration and get approval to use them for compassionate use. I knew what that meant: officially, Tom was dying.

I began cold-emailing phage researchers asking for help. A phage researcher at Texas A&M University turned his lab into a kind of command centre, looking for phages active against Tom’s specific infection in his centre’s phage library and in sewage and barnyard waste.

Read more at Source: >Steffanie Strathdee: ‘Phages have evolved to become perfect predators of bacteria’ | Science | The Guardian