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Jennifer A Lehman - Top 30 Publications

Zika Virus Disease Cases - 50 States and the District of Columbia, January 1-July 31, 2016.

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus primarily transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (1). Zika virus infections have also been documented through intrauterine transmission resulting in congenital infection; intrapartum transmission from a viremic mother to her newborn; sexual transmission; blood transfusion; and laboratory exposure (1-5). Most Zika virus infections are asymptomatic (1,6). Clinical illness, when it occurs, is generally mild and characterized by acute onset of fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or nonpurulent conjunctivitis. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause adverse outcomes such as fetal loss, and microcephaly and other serious brain anomalies (1-3). Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition affecting the peripheral nervous system, also has been associated with Zika virus infection (1). Following the identification of local transmission of Zika virus in Brazil in May 2015, the virus has continued to spread throughout the Region of the Americas, and travel-associated cases have increased (7). In 2016, Zika virus disease and congenital infections became nationally notifiable conditions in the United States (8). As of September 3, 2016, a total of 2,382 confirmed and probable cases of Zika virus disease with symptom onset during January 1-July 31, 2016, had been reported from 48 of 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Most cases (2,354; 99%) were travel-associated, with either direct travel or an epidemiologic link to a traveler to a Zika virus-affected area. Twenty-eight (1%) cases were reported as locally acquired, including 26 associated with mosquito-borne transmission, one acquired in a laboratory, and one with an unknown mode of transmission. Zika virus disease should be considered in patients with compatible clinical signs or symptoms who traveled to or reside in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission or who had unprotected sex with someone who traveled to those areas. Health care providers should continue to educate patients, especially pregnant women, about the importance of avoiding infection with Zika virus, and all pregnant women should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure at each prenatal visit (2).

Zika Virus Infection Among U.S. Pregnant Travelers - August 2015-February 2016.

After reports of microcephaly and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in infants of mothers infected with Zika virus during pregnancy, CDC issued a travel alert on January 15, 2016, advising pregnant women to consider postponing travel to areas with active transmission of Zika virus. On January 19, CDC released interim guidelines for U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with travel to an affected area, and an update was released on February 5. As of February 17, CDC had received reports of nine pregnant travelers with laboratory-confirmed Zika virus disease; 10 additional reports of Zika virus disease among pregnant women are currently under investigation. No Zika virus-related hospitalizations or deaths among pregnant women were reported. Pregnancy outcomes among the nine confirmed cases included two early pregnancy losses, two elective terminations, and three live births (two apparently healthy infants and one infant with severe microcephaly); two pregnancies (approximately 18 weeks' and 34 weeks' gestation) are continuing without known complications. Confirmed cases of Zika virus infection were reported among women who had traveled to one or more of the following nine areas with ongoing local transmission of Zika virus: American Samoa, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Samoa. This report summarizes findings from the nine women with confirmed Zika virus infection during pregnancy, including case reports for four women with various clinical outcomes. U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure during pregnancy should follow CDC guidelines for patient evaluation and management. Zika virus disease is a nationally notifiable condition. CDC has developed a voluntary registry to collect information about U.S. pregnant women with confirmed Zika virus infection and their infants. Information about the registry is in preparation and will be available on the CDC website.

West Nile Virus and Other Nationally Notifiable Arboviral Diseases - United States, 2014.

Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of domestically acquired arboviral disease in the United States (1). However, several other arboviruses also cause sporadic cases and seasonal outbreaks. This report summarizes surveillance data reported to CDC in 2014 for WNV and other nationally notifiable arboviruses, excluding dengue. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia (DC) reported 2,205 cases of WNV disease. Of these, 1,347 (61%) were classified as WNV neuroinvasive disease (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis), for a national incidence of 0.42 cases per 100,000 population. After WNV, the next most commonly reported cause of arboviral disease was La Crosse virus (80 cases), followed by Jamestown Canyon virus (11), St. Louis encephalitis virus (10), Powassan virus (8), and Eastern equine encephalitis virus (8). WNV and other arboviruses cause serious illness in substantial numbers of persons each year. Maintaining surveillance programs is important to help direct prevention activities.

West nile virus and other arboviral diseases - United States, 2013.

Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes and ticks. West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of domestically acquired arboviral disease in the United States. However, several other arboviruses also cause sporadic cases and seasonal outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease (i.e., meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis). This report summarizes surveillance data reported to CDC in 2013 for WNV and other nationally notifiable arboviruses, excluding dengue. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported 2,469 cases of WNV disease. Of these, 1,267 (51%) were classified as WNV neuroinvasive disease, for a national incidence of 0.40 per 100,000 population. After WNV, the next most commonly reported cause of arboviral disease was La Crosse virus (LACV) (85 cases), followed by Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), Powassan virus (POWV), and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) (eight). WNV and other arboviruses continue to cause serious illness in substantial numbers of persons annually. Maintaining surveillance remains important to help direct and promote prevention activities.

Medical risk factors for severe West Nile Virus disease, United States, 2008-2010.

We conducted enhanced surveillance to identify medical risk factors for severe illness (i.e., hospitalization or death) and neuroinvasive disease (i.e., encephalitis or meningitis) among all West Nile virus disease cases reported from selected states from 2008 to 2010. Of the 1,090 case-patients included in the analysis, 708 (65%) case-patients were hospitalized, 641 (59%) case-patients had neuroinvasive disease, and 55 (5%) case-patients died. Chronic renal disease (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 4.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-12.1), history of cancer (aOR = 3.7; 95% CI = 1.8-7.5), history of alcohol abuse (aOR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.3-6.7), diabetes (aOR = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.4-3.4), and hypertension (aOR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.1-2.1) were independently associated with severe illness on multivariable analysis. Although the same medical conditions were independently associated with encephalitis, only hypertension was associated with meningitis. The only condition independently associated with death was immune suppression. Prevention messages should be targeted to persons with these conditions.

West nile virus RNA not detected in urine of 40 people tested 6 years after acute West Nile virus disease.

West Nile virus (WNV) causes an acute infection that is usually cleared by an effective immune response after several days of viremia. However, a recent study detected WNV RNA in the urine of 5 of 25 persons (20%) tested several years after their initial acute WNV disease. We evaluated an established cohort of 40 persons >6 years after initial infection with WNV. Urine collected from all participants tested negative for WNV RNA by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and transcription-mediated amplification. Prospective studies are needed to determine if and for how long WNV persists in urine following WNV disease.

Laboratory testing practices for West Nile virus in the United States.

We surveyed state public health and commercial diagnostic reference laboratories regarding current testing practices for West Nile virus (WNV). The majority of WNV testing is now performed in commercial diagnostic reference laboratories using commercially available Food and Drug Administration-cleared kits labeled for the presumptive diagnosis of WNV. However, only 25% of surveyed state public health or commercial diagnostic reference laboratories currently have the capacity to perform the recommended confirmatory testing. These findings indicate the need for both manufacturers and laboratories to monitor the performance of these WNV test kits. Further, clinicians should be aware of the limitations of these kits and the need for additional testing to confirm a diagnosis of WNV disease.

Surveillance for human West Nile virus disease - United States, 1999-2008.

West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) in the family Flaviviridae and is the leading cause of arboviral disease in the United States. An estimated 80% of WNV infections are asymptomatic. Most symptomatic persons develop an acute systemic febrile illness that often includes headache, myalgia, arthralgia, rash, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Less than 1% of infected persons develop neuroinvasive disease, which typically presents as encephalitis, meningitis, or acute flaccid paralysis.

Rapid assessment of mosquitoes and arbovirus activity after floods in southeastern Kansas, 2007.

A rapid assessment was conducted in July-August 2007 to determine the impact of heavy rains and early summer floods on the mosquitoes and arbovirus activity in 4 southeastern Kansas counties. During 10 days and nights of collections using different types and styles of mosquito traps, a total of 10,512 adult female mosquitoes representing 29 species were collected, including a new species record for Kansas (Psorophora mathesoni). High numbers of Aedes albopictus were collected. Over 4,000 specimens of 4 Culex species in 235 species-specific pools were tested for the presence of West Nile, St. Louis, and western equine encephalitis viruses. Thirty pools representing 3 Culex species were positive for West Nile virus (WNV). No other arboviruses were detected in the samples. Infection rates of WNV in Culex pipiens complex in 2 counties (10.7/1,000 to 22.6/1,000) and in Culex salinarius in 1 county (6.0/1,000) were sufficiently high to increase the risk of transmission to humans. The infection rate of WNV in Culex erraticus was 1.9/1,000 in one county. Two focal hot spots of intense WNV transmission were identified in Montgomery and Wilson counties, where infection rates in Cx. pipiens complex were 26/ 1,000 and 19.9/1,000, respectively. Despite confirmed evidence of WNV activity in the area, there was no increase in human cases of arboviral disease documented in the 4 counties for the remainder of 2007.

Epidemiology of neuroinvasive arboviral disease in the United States, 1999-2007.

From 1999-2007, the most common causes of neuroinvasive arboviral disease in the United States, after West Nile virus (WNV), were California (CAL) serogroup viruses, St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV). The CAL serogroup virus disease was primarily reported from Appalachia and the upper Midwest, SLEV disease from southern states, and EEEV disease from areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Children accounted for 88% of CAL serogroup virus disease, whereas 75% of SLEV disease occurred among older adults. The EEEV disease had the highest case-fatality rate (42%). The incidence of CAL serogroup virus and EEEV disease remained stable before and after the detection of WNV in the United States in 1999. The SLEV disease declined 3-fold after 1999; however, SLEV disease has occurred in sporadic epidemics that make trends difficult to interpret. The CAL serogroup virus, SLEV, and EEEV disease are persistent public health concerns in the United States warranting ongoing prevention efforts.

Effect of Hurricane Katrina on arboviral disease transmission.

West Nile virus quantification in feces of experimentally infected American and fish crows.

To better understand the potential environmental health risk presented by West Nile virus (WNV)-contaminated feces, we quantified the amount of WNV present in the feces of experimentally infected American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and fish crows (Corvus ossifragus). Peak fecal titers ranged from 10(3.5) to 10(8.8) plaque-forming units (PFU)/g for 10 American crows and from 10(2.3) to 10(6.4) PFU/g for 10 fish crows. The presence of infectious WNV in bird feces indicates a potential for direct transmission of WNV. Thus, handlers of sick or dead birds should take appropriate precautions to avoid exposure to fecal material.

The epidemic of West Nile virus in the United States, 2002.

Since 1999, health officials have documented the spread of West Nile virus across the eastern and southern states and into the central United States. In 2002, a large, multi-state, epidemic of neuroinvasive West Nile illness occurred. Using standardized guidelines, health departments conducted surveillance for West Nile virus illness in humans, and West Nile virus infection and illness in non-human species. Illnesses were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the ArboNET system. In 2002, 39 states and the District of Columbia reported 4,156 human West Nile virus illness cases. Of these, 2,942 (71%) were neuroinvasive illnesses (i.e., meningitis, encephalitis, or meningoencephalitis) with onset dates from May 19 through December 14; 1,157 (28%) were uncomplicated West Nile fever cases, and 47 (1%) were clinically unspecified. Over 80% of neuroinvasive illnesses occurred in the central United States. Among meningitis cases, median age was 46 years (range, 3 months to 91 years), and the fatality-to-case ratio was 2%; for encephalitis cases (with or without meningitis), median age was 64 years (range, 1 month to 99 years) and the fatality-to-case ratio was 12%. Neuroinvasive illness incidence and mortality, respectively, were significantly associated with advanced age (p = 0.02; p = 0.01) and being male (p < 0.001; p = 0.002). In 89% of counties reporting neuroinvasive human illnesses, West Nile virus infections were first noted in non-human species, but no human illnesses were reported from 77% of counties in which non-human infections were detected. In 2002, West Nile virus caused the largest recognized epidemic of neuroinvasive arboviral illness in the Western Hemisphere and the largest epidemic of neuroinvasive West Nile virus ever recorded. It is unknown why males appeared to have higher risk of severe illness and death, but possibilities include higher prevalence of co-morbid conditions or behavioral factors leading to increased infection rates. Several observations, including major, multi-state West Nile virus epidemics in 2002 and 2003, suggest that major epidemics may annually reoccur in the United States. Non-human surveillance can warn of early West Nile virus activity and needs continued emphasis, along with control of Culex mosquitoes.