The study, which appears in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Disease, confirmed the suspected close link between the two most common diseases of young children, viral colds and ear infections. It also identified the viruses associated with higher rates of ear infections.
“Understanding how viruses and ear infections are linked will definitely help us find new ways to prevent ear infections,” said Dr. Tasnee Chronmaitree, a pediatric infectious disease specialist who is the study’s principal investigator. “To break the link you must first understand it.”
Ear infections are the driving force behind antibiotic resistance, a troubling medical issue, as physicians often administer antibiotics for the painful, persistent ailment.
Chonmaitree has studied otitis media (ear infection) for more than two decades. She said parents could best protect their children by avoiding exposure to sick children and to have their children vaccinated against influenza. She suggested that children in day care might face reduced exposure to viruses if they are enrolled in smaller day care facilities with fewer children.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, Chonmaitree and colleagues followed 294 children ages 6 months to 3 years for up to one year each. Researchers documented about 1,300 cold episodes and a 61 percent rate of ear infection complication including asymptomatic fluid in the middle ear, which can cause hearing problems. Researchers also identified the types of cold viruses – adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and coronavirus – that most often resulted in ear infection.
“Because we now know that the common cold is the precursor to an ear infection, it is important for parents to make extra efforts to prevent their children from catching colds,” Chonmaitree said. “It’s important to avoid exposure to sick children or adults, to avoid day care attendance, if possible, and if that’s not an option, to choose a smaller group day care.”
Chonmaitree also recommended the use of influenza vaccine, the only vaccine available to prevent respiratory viral infection, which is now available for children older than 6 months. The antiviral drug has also been shown to prevent ear infections associated with influenza, she said.
Chonmaitree and colleagues will continue to study the role of viruses in ear infection aiming to find a way to prevent the disease. Continued funding from the NIH will allow them to study children born with genetic variations who are prone to having ear infections and at the interactions between genes and the environment.
Marsha Canright | EurekAlert!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences