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In brief: Uptick in hospital fungal infections; ancient dental pulp reveals clues about plague

June 14, 2023
Learn about an increase in hospital fungal infections and the role of COVID-19; what ancient dental pulp reveals about the plague; expert facts on RCT; and more.

Increase in hospital fungal infections

New CDC data shows since 2019, hospital fungal infections have increased by 8.5 percent, with COVID-19 noted as a significant risk factor for those who contract certain infections: "As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, and to increase preparedness for future infectious diseases outbreaks, comprehensive public health surveillance for fungal diseases is needed to characterize disease epidemiology and guide efforts to prevent illness and death."

WaPo on home care advice

The Washington Post (in conjunction with Consumer Reports) offers its take on home care routines to maintain oral health. Among its advice: that both manual and rechargeable toothbrushes can be “completely effective in plaque removal” and in helping prevent gum disease, and that brushing technique may matter more than the type of brush used.

4 facts about RCT, from the experts

Following President Biden’s well-publicized root canal treatment that caused a delay in some scheduled events, the American Association of Endodontics took the opportunity to share some facts about the common but often misunderstood (and dreaded) procedure. Among them: most patients are unaware that root canals are totally painless.

Dental pulp offers new information about plague

Using dental pulp extracted from skeletal samples, researchers in the UK have identified three 4,000-year-old British cases of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that caused the plague. Previously, it had been identified in several individuals from Eurasia between 5,000 and 2,500 years before present (BP), a period spanning the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age (tLNBA), but hadn't been seen before in Britain at that point in time.

CDC: High cost of prescriptions keeps many Americans from taking them

A new CDC report points to the high cost of prescription drugs as a reason more than 9 million US adults aren’t taking their medications as instructed. According to the report, in such cases people often skip doses, take smaller amounts, or delay refills; a Health article about the report notes that even those covered by insurance aren’t immune to struggling, citing the “waiting period back and forth with insurance, along with the financial strain” as reasons that [cause] many patients to stop taking their medications altogether.