Five things to know about the changes in Chronic Hepatitis C management

Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) remains a major medical and economic burden in Canada with up to 1% of population affected by it. The lifetime cost for one patient has been estimated to be $ 64,694. Successful hepatitis C treatment is associated with long term health benefits which include decreased liver related morbidity and mortality, lower […]

Read more

Shingles Vaccine: Should you get one?

  A live attenuated herpes zoster (Shingles) vaccine, Zostavax, was developed specifically for protection against herpes zoster in the elderly population. The idea was to boost the waning cell mediated immune response in this population and decrease the morbidity associated with the disease. The Shingles Prevention Study studied the live attenuated zoster vaccine in nearly […]

Read more

Lyme Disease (or not?): Serological Diagnosis

There are multiple caveats to the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Many patients referred to my office bring with them multiple serology reports. Some are confused about what they have been told by others, and others are so convinced about their diagnosis that they just want me to agree with them. Culture of Borrelia burgdorferi obtained […]

Read more

New hope for Hepatitis C

But first, this news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Beginning in 2006, the number of deaths related to chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection exceeded the number of deaths related to HIV disease. This data was obtained by the analysis of the mortality trends performed at the CDC and presented recently […]

Read more

Monkey Bites

Herpes B virus (Cercopithecine herpesvirus 1, Herpesvirus simiae) causes disease in macaque monkeys. The infection is usually asymptomatic or mild in macaques but can be fatal if transmitted to human beings. Macaque monkeys are native to Asia and North Africa. They are housed in captivity, in research facilities, zoos, wildlife or amusement parks, and as […]

Read more

Updates in the Management of Hepatitis C: New Guidelines for the treatment of Genotype 1 Hepatitis C Virus Infection

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases recently published an update on the treatment of Genotype 1 chronic Hepatitis C virus infection. This guideline incorporates the use of two protease inhibitors, boceprevir (BOC) and telaprevir (TVR). Health Canada has recently approved boceprevir for this indication and telaprevir is still under “priority review”. These […]

Read more

RED TIDE: Paralytic Shellfish Toxin and other Seafood Neurotoxin Diseases

  A few years ago, while I was working on the east coast in the beautiful city of Saint John, New Brunswick, I received a phone call from the emergency room physician late one afternoon. “You’ve got to come over and have a look at this” he said, “looks like we have cases of botulism”. […]

Read more

Chemotherapy and Immunosuppression in Chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C

There have been many new advances in the cancer chemotherapeutic agents along with the introduction of new and specific therapies targeted at  immune modulation and inhibition of lymphocyte function in solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. In terms of the progression of both chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C, there is a […]

Read more

Community associated MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

    There has been much interest in the community associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) in the last decade which has emerged as an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Some recent news reports in both national and international print media include  NY Times (MRSA infection in children), USA Today (Partial amputation in an […]

Read more