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05/20 10:00 PM ET; 05/24 5:00 AM ET; 05/25 2:00 PM ET

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Brain pacemaker could help stroke patients recover quicker
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The Bourbon virus is part of a group called thogotoviruses, and it's relatively new on the radar. There have only been a few cases so far, mostly in the South and Midwest, and some of these patients died. The virus is thought to spread through the bite of an infected tick, but the exact way it infects people is still unknown, according to the CDC. People who become infected with the Bourbon virus may develop flu-like symptoms as well as nausea and vomiting. They may also have low white blood cell and platelet counts. .
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The researchers explained that to relieve pain, hospital patients are typically given opioid drugs in one of three forms: pill, injection or IV. The risk of side effects is higher with IV because the opioids rapidly penetrate the central nervous system, the researchers said.

Previous research has shown that even one IV dose of opioids can cause brain changes associated with addiction.

The three-month pilot study tested the new approach to opioid prescribing in a few hundred hospital patients. The results: The patients' IV opioid dosing was reduced by 84 percent, they had less overall exposure to opioids, and their pain control was as good or better than a control group of patients who received typical opioid prescribing.

"The data shows that the non-IV use of opioids can reduce overall opioid use in adult inpatients with no change in pain control, and potentially an improvement," said study co-author Dr. Robert Fogerty, an associate professor of medicine at Yale.

"It's an example of less is more," he added.

Changing how opioids are given to hospital patients could be one way to fight the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic in the United States, according to the study authors.

Study co-author Dr. Patrick O'Connor, chief of general internal medicine at Yale, said the study "represents an important piece of the puzzle in terms of how opioids can be used more safely and effectively in clinical practice.

"It also represents a critical strategy for reducing the potential risk of opioid-related complications, including overdose and death," he added.

The study was published May 14 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about prescription opioids.

Copyright 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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    Spotted fever rickettsiosis is a term for a group of diseases caused by spotted fever group rickettsia, a type of bacteria. These are spread to humans by either mites or ticks specifically, the Gulf Coast tick and Pacific Coast tick. Since 2010, there have been about 3,000 cases each year with a fatality rate less than 1%. These mostly occur during the summer months in the South and southeastern states.

    The first sign of a spotted fever is an eschar, or a dark brown scab on the tick bite, which can take up to a week to appear. Once the eschar forms, patients may experience flu-like symptoms. All spotted fevers are treated with doxycycline.

    These infections can range from mild to life-threatening if left untreated. The most serious of this group of tick-borne diseases is the Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which causes fever, headache, and rash. In severe cases, RMSF can result in permanent damage to blood vessels in the limbs, hearing loss, paralysis, or mental disabilities.

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