Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
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Neither the combination of antivirals and interferons (ribavirin + interferon alfa-2a or interferon alfa-2b) nor corticosteroids improved outcomes.
When rhesus macaques were given interferon-α2b and ribavirin and exposed to MERS, they developed less pneumonia than control animals. Five critically ill people with MERS in Saudi Arabia with ARDS and on ventilators were given interferon-α2b and ribavirin but all ended up dying of the disease. The treatment was started late in their disease (a mean of 19 days after hospital admission) and they had already failed trials of steroids so it remains to be seen whether it may have benefit earlier in the course of disease. Another proposed therapy is inhibition of viral protease or kinase enzymes. Researchers are investigating a number of ways to combat the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, including using interferon, chloroquine, chlorpromazine, loperamide, and lopinavir, as well as other agents such as mycophenolic acid and camostat.
While the mechanism of spread of MERS-CoV is currently not known, based on experience with prior coronaviruses, such as SARS, the WHO currently recommends that all individuals coming into contact with MERS suspects should (in addition to standard precautions):
- Wear a medical mask
- Wear eye protection (i.e. goggles or a face shield)
- Wear a clean, non sterile, long sleeved gown; and gloves (some procedures may require sterile gloves)
- Perform hand hygiene before and after contact with the person and his or her surroundings and immediately after removal of personal protective equipment (PPE)
For procedures which carry a risk of aerosolization, such as intubation, the WHO recommends that care providers also:
- Wear a particulate respirator and, when putting on a disposable particulate respirator, always check the seal
- Wear eye protection (i.e. goggles or a face shield)
- Wear a clean, non-sterile, long-sleeved gown and gloves (some of these procedures require sterile gloves)
- Wear an impermeable apron for some procedures with expected high fluid volumes that might penetrate the gown
- Perform procedures in an adequately ventilated room; i.e. minimum of 6 to 12 air changes per hour in facilities with a mechanically ventilated room and at least 60 liters/second/patient in facilities with natural ventilation
- Limit the number of persons present in the room to the absolute minimum required for the person’s care and support
- Perform hand hygiene before and after contact with the person and his or her surroundings and after PPE removal.
The duration of infectivity is also unknown so it is unclear how long people must be isolated, but current recommendations are for 24 hours after resolution of symptoms. In the SARS outbreak the virus was not cultured from people after the resolution of their symptoms.
It is believed that the existing SARS research may provide a useful template for developing vaccines and therapeutics against a MERS-CoV infection. Vaccine candidates are currently awaiting clinical trials.
Most infections are mild and require no therapy or only symptomatic treatment. Because there is no virus-specific therapy, serious adenovirus illness can be managed only by treating symptoms and complications of the infection. Deaths are exceedingly rare but have been reported.
ILI occurs in some horses after intramuscular injection of vaccines. For these horses, light exercise speeds resolution of the ILI. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be given with the vaccine.
There is no cure or vaccine for HPS. Treatment involves supportive therapy, including mechanical ventilation with supplemental oxygen during the critical respiratory-failure stage of the illness. Early recognition of HPS and admission to an intensive care setting offers the best prognosis.
Safe and effective adenovirus vaccines were developed for adenovirus serotypes 4 and 7, but were available only for preventing ARD among US military recruits, and production stopped in 1996. Strict attention to good infection-control practices is effective for stopping transmission in hospitals of adenovirus-associated disease, such as epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Maintaining adequate levels of chlorination is necessary for preventing swimming pool-associated outbreaks of adenovirus conjunctivitis.
The two classes of antiviral drugs used against influenza are neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) and M2 protein inhibitors (adamantane derivatives).
Overall the benefits of neuraminidase inhibitors in those who are otherwise healthy do not appear to be greater than the risks. There does not appear to be any benefit in those with other health problems. In those believed to have the flu, they decreased the length of time symptoms were present by slightly less than a day but did not appear to affect the risk of complications such as needing hospitalization or pneumonia. Previous to 2013 the benefits were unclear as the manufacturer (Roche) refused to release trial data for independent analysis. Increasingly prevalent resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors has led to researchers to seek alternative antiviral drugs with different mechanisms of action.
If a person becomes sick with swine flu, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and make the patient feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within two days of symptoms). Beside antivirals, supportive care at home or in a hospital focuses on controlling fevers, relieving pain and maintaining fluid balance, as well as identifying and treating any secondary infections or other medical problems. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses; however, the majority of people infected with the virus make a full recovery without requiring medical attention or antiviral drugs. The virus isolated in the 2009 outbreak have been found resistant to amantadine and rimantadine.
In the U.S., on April 27, 2009, the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations to make available Relenza and Tamiflu antiviral drugs to treat the swine influenza virus in cases for which they are currently unapproved. The agency issued these EUAs to allow treatment of patients younger than the current approval allows and to allow the widespread distribution of the drugs, including by volunteers.
Rodent control in and around the home or dwellings remains the primary prevention strategy, as well as eliminating contact with rodents in the workplace and campsite. Closed storage sheds and cabins are often ideal sites for rodent infestations. Airing out of such spaces prior to use is recommended. People are advised to avoid direct contact with rodent droppings and wear a mask while cleaning such areas to avoid inhalation of aerosolized rodent secretions.
As swine influenza is rarely fatal to pigs, little treatment beyond rest and supportive care is required. Instead, veterinary efforts are focused on preventing the spread of the virus throughout the farm, or to other farms. Vaccination and animal management techniques are most important in these efforts. Antibiotics are also used to treat this disease, which although they have no effect against the influenza virus, do help prevent bacterial pneumonia and other secondary infections in influenza-weakened herds.
Prevention of aspergillosis involves a reduction of mold exposure via environmental infection-control. Anti-fungal prophylaxis can be given to high-risk patients. Posaconazole is often given as prophylaxis in severely immunocompromised patients.
The current medical treatments for aggressive invasive aspergillosis include voriconazole and liposomal amphotericin B in combination with surgical debridement.
For the less aggressive allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis findings suggest the use of oral steroids for a prolonged period of time, preferably for 6–9 months in allergic aspergillosis of the lungs. Itraconazole is given with the steroids, as it is considered to have a "steroid sparing" effect, causing the steroids to be more effective, allowing a lower dose.,
Other drugs used, such as amphotericin B, caspofungin (in combination therapy only), flucytosine (in combination therapy only), or itraconazole,
are used to treat this fungal infection. However, a growing proportion of infections are resistant to the triazoles. "A. fumigatus", the most commonly infecting species, is intrinsically resistant to fluconazole.
There is no cure or vaccine for HFRS. Treatment involves supportive therapy including renal dialysis. Treatment with ribavirin in China and Korea, administered within 7 days of onset of fever, resulted in a reduced mortality as well as shortened course of illness.
Some ways to prevent airborne diseases include washing hands, using appropriate hand disinfection, getting regular immunizations against diseases believed to be locally present, wearing a respirator and limiting time spent in the presence of any patient likely to be a source of infection.
Exposure to a patient or animal with an airborne disease does not guarantee receiving the disease. Because of the changes in host immunity and how much the host was exposed to the particles in the air makes a difference to how the disease affects the body.
Antibiotics are not prescribed for patients to control viral infections. They may however be prescribed to a flu patient for instance, to control or prevent bacterial secondary infections. They also may be used in dealing with air-borne bacterial primary infections, such as pneumonic plague.
Additionally the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has told consumers about vaccination and following careful hygiene and sanitation protocols for airborne disease prevention. Consumers also have access to preventive measures like UV Air purification devices that FDA and EPA-certified laboratory test data has verified as effective in inactivating a broad array of airborne infectious diseases. Many public health specialists recommend social distancing to reduce the transmission of airborne infections.
There has been no specific drug therapy developed for hepatitis, with the exception of hepatitis C. Patients are advised to rest in the early stages of the illness, and to eat small, high-calorie, high-protein meals in order to battle anorexia. Larger meals are more easily tolerated in the morning, for patients often experience nausea later in the day. Although high-protein meals are recommended, protein intake should be reduced if signs of precoma — lethargy, confusion, and mental changes — develop.
In acute viral hepatitis, hospitalization is usually required only for patients with severe symptoms (severe nausea, vomiting, change in mental status, and PT greater than 3 seconds above normal) or complications. If the patient experiences continuous vomiting and is unable to maintain oral intake, parenteral nutrition may be required.
In order to relieve nausea and also prevent vomiting, antiemetics (diphenhydramine or prochlorperazine) may be given 30 minutes before meals. However, phenothiazines have a cholestatic effect and should be avoided. The resin cholestyramine may be given only for severe pruritus.
Rickettsialpox is treated with tetracyclines (doxycycline is the drug of choice). Chloramphenicol is a suitable alternative.
The only prevention for FLD is ventilating the work areas putting workers at risk and using face masks to filter out the antigens attempting to enter the lungs through the air.
Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary prevention strategy, as well as eliminating contact with rodents in the workplace and campsite. Closed storage sheds and cabins are often ideal sites for rodent infestations. Airing out of such spaces prior to use is recommended. Avoid direct contact with rodent droppings and wear a mask to avoid inhalation of aerosolized rodent secretions.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, FLD can last from one to to weeks, or they can last for the rest of one’s life. Acute FLD has the ability to be treated because hypersensitivity to the antigens has not yet developed. The main treatment is rest and reducing the exposure to the antigens through masks and increased airflow in confined spaces where the antigens are present. Another treatment for acute FLD is pure oxygen therapy. For chronic FLD, there is no true treatment because the patient has developed hypersensitivity meaning their FLD could last the rest of their life. Any exposure to the antigens once hypersensitivity can set off another chronic reaction.
Most patients recover with corticosteroid therapy. A standardized approach to dosing starting at 0.75 mg/kg and weaning over 24 weeks has been shown to reduce total corticosteroid exposure without affecting outcome.
About two thirds of patients recover with corticosteroid therapy: the usual corticosteroid administered is prednisolone in Europe and prednisone in the USA; these differ by only one functional group and have the same clinical effect. The corticosteroid is initially administered in high dosage, typically 50 mg per day tapering down to zero over a six-month to one-year period. If the corticosteroid treatment is halted too quickly the disease may return. Other medications must be taken to counteract side effects of the steroid.
General treatment principles are removal from exposure, protection of the airway (i.e., preemptive intubation), and treatment of hypoxemia. Concomitant airway injury with acute bronchospasm often warrants treatment with bronchodilators because of the airway obstruction.
A beneficial role for corticosteroids has not been established by controlled trials in humans. Despite the lack of controlled evidence of efficacy, anecdotal reports of benefits from systemic corticosteroid use continue to appear.
Prophylactic antibiotic drugs have not proved to be efficacious in toxic lung injury. Antibiotics should be reserved for those patients with clinical evidence of infection.
Antiviral drugs, that target infections with RRV. Patients are usually managed with simple analgesics, anti-inflammatories, anti-pyretics and rest while the illness runs its course.
Post-viral cough can be resistant to treatment. Post-viral cough usually goes away on its own; however, cough suppressants containing codeine may be prescribed. A study has claimed theobromine in dark chocolate is more effective.
In the majority of immunocompetent individuals, histoplasmosis resolves without any treatment. Antifungal medications are used to treat severe cases of acute histoplasmosis and all cases of chronic and disseminated disease. Typical treatment of severe disease first involves treatment with amphotericin B, followed by oral itraconazole.
Liposomal preparations of amphotericin B are more effective than deoxycholate preparations. The liposomal preparation is preferred in patients that might be at risk of nephrotoxicity, although all preparations of amphotericin B have risk of nephrotoxicity. Individuals taking amphotericin B are monitored for renal function.
Treatment with itraconazole will need to continue for at least a year in severe cases, while in acute pulmonary histoplasmosis, 6 to 12 weeks treatment is sufficient. Alternatives to itraconazole are posaconazole, voriconazole, and fluconazole. Individuals taking itraconazole are monitored for hepatic function.