Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards, and honors.
- Thursday, December 1st, 2016 marked the 28th anniversary of World AIDS Day. In a Fox News interview, Robert Murphy, MD and Director of the Center for Global Health at Northwestern University, says that while a 20% decrease in the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS in the last 10 years shows some improvement in the U.S., there has been a "net, multi-million increase" per year in the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS world-wide. Murphy adds: "treatment and care have improved dramatically, and current therapies now are very safe, very effective...so anyone can find a medication to treat themselves." He warns, however, that current therapies are not a cure, since one's immune system is compromised before beginning medication, and complications occur throughout a person's life. Murphy would like to focus on the fact that there have been "remarkable successes" in the AIDS epidemic.
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- Michael Angarone, D.O. and assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Northwestern University, weighs in on Zika on The 21st show with NPR on 3/25/16. He shares that the concerns he hears most frequently from his patients regard the risk of Zika infection, whether to cancel upcoming travel to Zika-infected areas, and what do do should one become infected. Angarone further notes that he hasn't received too many inquiries about transmission of Zika in Illinois because it is too cold for mosquitoes to spread Zika in Illinois. "The majority of individuals who become infected [with Zika] will be asymptomatic; 70-80% of people infected [will have] symptoms similar to a viral infection: fever, rash, body aches, and joint pains," Angarone explains. Angarone expounds that a symptom unique to Zika is conjunctivitis. Angarone explains that currently in order to determine whether one has Zika, patients who are symptomatic or pregnant women who are either symptomatic or recently returned from an area affected are blood tested. Angarone adds that physicians in IL contact the IL Department of Public Health to test a patient and also contact the CDC for a blood test. He explains that Zika is detectable 2-4 weeks maximum after infection, so there is a small window of time for detection. Angarone advises women in Illinois witha male parter who traveled to an infected area to wait at least 2-3 months before trying to get pregnant and use condoms. Angarone recommends that women who travel to an infected area wait a few months before trying to get pregnant.
- On February 15, 2016, Michael Angarone, D.O., of Northwestern University's Division of Infectious Diseases, is interviewed on WGN News regarding Zika in the U.S. In February 2016, WGN reports that there are more than 50 known cases of Zika in the U.S., all of which are from people who travelled abroad. Dr. Angarone explains how people globally are becoming more concerned about Zika because it appears in "areas [it's] not normally seen in." Angarone advises spring breakers to travel without fear within the U.S., as no travel warnings currently exist domestically, and Zika is not being transmitted from local mosquitoes. As for international travel, he recommends that non-pregnant women and males prevent mosquito bites within known infected areas, such as the northern part of South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Angarone suggests that pregnant women not travel at all to these international destinations prevalent with Zika. Further, Angarone highlights how some people infected by Zika may develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a neurological disorder, but adds that it is unknown how frequently this occurs.
Should You Work Out When You are Sick?
Michael Angarone, D.O. and assistant professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, weighs in on whether to work-out when sick. K. Aleisha Fetters features Angarone's advice in The Daily Beast on February 18, 2016. According to Angarone, someone with a cold is typically contagiuos for five entire days, and his or her germs spread the easiest during the two or three days with the most cold-like symptoms. Angarone advises people with a cold to stay at home for a work-out since even hand-washing may not prevent the spread of germs at a gym. Sweat can transfer snot onto equipment, such as dumbbells, where cold germs can live for hours. Better to work-out at home when having cold-symptoms.
For people with the stomach bug, or "norovirus," Angarone warns against working out, since diarrhea and vomiting frequently caused by the stomach flu can cause extreme fluid loss and dehydration, and exercise would only exacerbate the dehydration and fluid loss. Stomach bugs are extremely contagious, so he recommends stretching at home instead if one feels up to it.
Angarone recommends that people with fever should rest until the fever has been gone for a full 24 hours "without the help of any fever-reducing medications like ibuprofen." Avoiding exercise for the three to five days one has the flu is the recommended course of action. If anyone tries to work out while they have a fever or the flu, he or she will likely be sick for a longer period of time. "Don't forget that your fever, muscle aches, and other pains are often signs that your body is trying to fight off a virus. So if you make your body split its energy and resources between the infection and exercise, you will likely be sick longer," Angarone warns. Additionally, high temperatures from fever have been linked to heart damage.