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Vidyya, from the Sanskrit "vaidya," a practitioner who has come to understand the science of life.

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Vidyya Medical News Service For 17-November-2000:

The following stories appear in full on today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.

In study published in the 17 November Lancet, doctors in Leicester have found that the hormone-releasing intrauterine device (IUD, or coil), Mirena, can stop potentially dangerous changes to the lining of the womb in women taking tamoxifen.

Unfortunately, the Mirena Intrauterine System is not currently available to women in the US, though if the IUS is found to help negate the dangerous uterine side effects caused by the popular breast cancer drug it may become available. Mirena is made of a light, plastic, T-shaped frame with the stem of the 'T' a bit thicker than the rest. This stem contains a tiny storage system of a hormone called Levonorgestrel. There's more information about the IUS in today's issue.

Here's a story that makes you say, "But of course!" Overweight people may not be receiving immunizations properly because the needles used are not long enough. Injections against diseases such as flu and hepatitis B may not have the full effect if standard size needles are used in patients with more fat layers.

New Recommendations: Four vaccines containing diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) are currently licensed in the United States for use among infants and young children. This report supplements the statement from ACIP regarding use of acellular pertussis vaccines and summarizes data regarding reactogenicity of acellular pertussis vaccines when administered as the fourth and fifth consecutive doses. Increases in the frequency and magnitude of local reactions at the injection site with increasing dose number have occurred for all currently licensed DTaP vaccines. Because data are insufficient regarding the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of using DTaP vaccines from different manufacturers in a mixed sequence, ACIP continues to recommend that, whenever feasible, the same brand of DTaP vaccine be used for all doses in the vaccination series.

And now that you know the new recommendations, you can't have the vaccine. A temporary shortage of adult tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td) in the United States has resulted from two coincident situations: 1) a decrease in the number of lots released by Wyeth Lederle (Pearl River, New York), and 2) a temporary decrease in inventory of vaccine following routine maintenance activities at the production facilities by Aventis Pasteur (Swiftware, Pennsylvania) that lasted longer than anticipated. Approximately one half of the usual number of Td doses has been distributed this year.

Ebola Update: As of 17 November, the Ugandan Ministry of Health reported cumulative figures for Gulu district of 329 cases, including 107 deaths. There is good news, Ugandan officials, who had been reporting cumulative case totals daily, will now be report them twice weekly because of a decreasing number of new cases.

As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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