Infectious Diseases

7/11/19
Two Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty members were interviewed for a story on vaccine safety, New York State’s ban on religious exemptions and a lawsuit that has been filed against it. “Of all the medical treatments that we use to prevent and treat disease, vaccines are by far the safest of all interventions,” said Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He added that there have been more than 10 high-quality studies and an Institute of Medicine panel, all of which found no connection between the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism. Dennis Z. Kuo, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of General Pediatrics, said that resistance against vaccinating children is rooted in fear. “Any fear out there needs to be addressed through rational debate or science,” he said.
6/20/19
Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, is interviewed for a story about concerns over the safety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that are manufactured overseas. “I think that this realization has made us think a little bit about where we stand with our prescription medicines in our new global world and vulnerabilities that exist because of it,” he said. 
4/25/19
John A. Sellick Jr., DO, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, was interviewed about the consequences of refusing to receive a flu shot. “This year the circulating strains of influenza virus appear to be well-matched with the vaccine strains, but we will not know the ultimate efficacy until the season is over,” he said.
2/9/19
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found this year’s flu vaccine is a good match for the virus strains in circulation “This year the circulating strains of influenza virus appear to be well-matched with the vaccine strains,” said John A. Seliick Jr., DO, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.
1/17/19
An article about the effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine against top flu strains interviews John A. Sellick Jr., DO, professor of medicine. “This year the circulating strains of influenza virus appear to be well-matched with the vaccine strains,” he said. “But we will not know the ultimate efficacy until the season is over.”
12/7/18
An article about why so many adults are reluctant to get a flu shot despite scientific evidence that shows the benefits of the vaccine interviews Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases. “Historically, adults do poorly with vaccines,” he said. “The other thing is that there is a fair amount of misinformation out there.” A related article about why people should get a flu shot every year features answers by local and national experts, including Russo. “Whenever you take any medication, there’s a small but finite chance you can have an adverse reaction to it,” he said, “but it’s very rare with the flu vaccine.”
8/1/18
Research by Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases, investigated the hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae, a rare but increasingly common strain of the pathogen that can infect completely healthy people, is resistant to all antibiotics and can cause blindness in one day and flesh-eating infections, brain abscesses and death in just a few days. “What’s increasingly concerning is the growing number of reports that describe strains of hypervirulent K. pneumoniae that are antimicrobial resistant,” he said. “A bug that's both hypervirulent and challenging to treat is a bad combination.”
2/7/18
A Hepatitis A clinic set up by the Erie County Health Department after a local food service worker tested positive for the virus. John K. Crane, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, said that even if someone has been exposed to the virus, both the vaccine and immunoglobulin can help prevent a full-blown infection. “The long incubation period does present certain challenges,” he said. “You don't know you're out of the woods until several weeks have gone by. But the long incubation period also gives public health authorities a chance to do something. So during that time we can give you the Hepatitis-A immunoglobulin and the vaccine. So there's a window of opportunity to intervene.”
9/13/17
An article about an outbreak of human Campylobacter infections that have been linked to puppies sold through a national pet store chain quotes Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases. Raw milk is also a potential source of the infection, which is why it’s better to drink pasteurized milk, he said.
9/8/17
An article on the emergence of hypervirulent, multidrug-resistant and highly transmissible strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae quotes Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases. "In this case it looks like the virulence factors went from the hypervirulent strains into an extensively drug-resistant strain," he said. "This is exactly what we were concerned about, and we thought would have a high likelihood of coming to fruition."
6/13/17
Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and John K. Crane, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, provided their knowledge on the subject after a recent outbreak of foodborne botulism in California.
1/26/17
A story on WIVB-TV about bacteria that are becoming increasingly antibiotic resistant and the growing concerns these “superbugs” are causing interviews Thomas Russo MD, and John Crane, MD, PhD, both professors of medicine. "They are winning the race and we are now in catch up mode,” says Russo, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. “For most people, if you can stay out of the hospital, yes, your chance with coming down with one of these really bad drug-resistant pathogens is relatively low,” says Crane.
12/29/16
A story on how to keep food-borne illnesses away from the holiday dinner table interviews Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases.
11/1/16
The University at Buffalo aims to recruit more participants in its clinical trials by working with a group of patients led by Laurene M. Tumiel Berhalter, PhD, associate professor of family medicine and director of community translational research. According to SUNY Distinguished Professor Timothy F. Murphy, MD, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research, people in the community should be involved in all phases of clinical research. Additionally, Peter L. Elkin, MD, professor and chair of biomedical informatics and professor of internal medicine, has developed a cell phone application that helps patients access information about available clinical trials.
8/8/16
Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus do not travel this far north, so it is unlikely to pose a health threat to this region, says Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases.