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In brief: Problematic PPE; "Variant soup" predicted

Nov. 2, 2022
Learn about a study on DHCPs and PPE self-contamination, a decline in certain cancer rates in the US, and why a convergence of different COVID-19 variants could make for a tricky winter.
Elizabeth S. Leaver, Digital content manager

Mouthrinses: A comprehensive review

Rinse and spit, but with what? That question is answered in depth by a team of researchers with the purpose of “[aiding] oral health care professionals in making the correct selection of mouthwash while dealing with different conditions of the oral cavity.” Included in their asssessment are chlorhexidine, plax, benzydamine hydrochloride, and others.

“Variant soup” makes winter COVID surge prediction difficult

Between immunity-evading SARS-CoV-2 mutations and a few “heavyweight variants” that have emerged globally, scientists are predicting a “variant soup” that makes predicting a winter COVID-19 surge imprecise. Learn more from Nature.

US cancer rates continue to drop. What about oral cancer?

Cancer death rates declined considerably between 2015 and 2019 in the US as overall incidence remained stable, according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, with decreases in death rates of 2.1% per year overall and treatment advances contributing to sharper declines in lung cancer and melanoma. However, oral cancer rates have not seemed to decline: According to the National Cancer Institute, age-adjusted rates for new oral cavity and pharynx cancer cases have been rising on average 1.0% each year over 2010–2019 while age-adjusted death rates have been rising on average 0.4% each year over 2011–2020.

PPE self-contamination: Disposable gowns “problematic”

A recent study of dental workers’ practical use of PPE included videotaping participants donning and doffing their equipment using a fluorescent marker as a stand-in for pathogen transmission. Results suggested “that [one] component of PPE that is problematic for DHCP is disposable gown use. Overall, 63% of DHCP made at least 1 protocol deviation when donning the gown and 60% of DHCP made at least 1 protocol deviation when doffing the gown.” Access the full study from JADA.

FDA oversight on vaping “likely minimal”

Even as the US Department of Justice recently filed for permanent injunctions against six e-cigarette manufacturers on behalf of the FDA, Healio reports that FDA oversight has a “likely minimal” impact on the vaping industry since the FDA targets smaller retailers rather than larger e-cigarette brands or products. Almost all of the 300 warning letters sent by the FDA from January 2020 to September 2021 were to small retailers: “None of the retailers, manufacturers or distributors identified in the warning letters were large companies with any measurable market share, according to sales data,” researchers reported.