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21 September 1999 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), an organization of more than 115,000 physicians trained in internal medicine.

Patients with Arthritis Often Also Use Alternative Medical Treatments

A study of 232 patients in six rheumatology practices found that patients with rheumatologic conditions often use complementary or alternative medicine in addition to conventional treatment (Article, p. 409). Nearly half of those who used alternative treatments discussed them with their physicians. The most common reason for patients not discussing their use was that physicians did not ask.

Single Dose of the Antibiotic Azithromycin Prevents Syphilis in People Exposed to Infected Sexual Partners (Brief Communication, p. 434)

Flu Vaccinations Benefit HIV-Infected Patients (Brief Communication, p. 430)

Fire Ants Can Attack People in Their Homes or Health Care Facilities

Fire ants, which arrived in the U.S. about 60 years ago, have spread across the Southeastern U.S. and have been spotted in some Western states. Fire ants attack humans when their ant mounds are disturbed. This issue of Annals of Internal Medicine carries two case reports of fire ants attacking elderly nursing home residents in their beds (Article, p. 424). Authors say that when a fire ant is found indoors, both the buildings and grounds should be carefully inspected. Until the fire ants are eliminated, infants and bedridden people should be considered at risk for fire ant attack and should be carefully supervised.

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