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Paige Armstrong - Top 30 Publications

Molecular epidemiology of Candida auris in Colombia reveals a highly-related, country-wide colonization with regional patterns in Amphotericin B resistance.

Candida auris is a multidrug-resistant yeast associated with hospital outbreaks worldwide. During 2015-2016, multiple outbreaks were reported in Colombia. We aimed to understand the extent of contamination in healthcare settings and to characterize the molecular epidemiology of C. auris in Colombia.

Notes from the Field: Surveillance for Candida auris - Colombia, September 2016-May 2017.

Multistate Epidemiology of Histoplasmosis, United States, 2011-2014

Histoplasmosis is one of the most common mycoses endemic to the United States, but it was reportable in only 10 states during 2016, when a national case definition was approved. To better characterize the epidemiologic features of histoplasmosis, we analyzed deidentified surveillance data for 2011-2014 from the following 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. We examined epidemiologic and laboratory features and calculated state-specific annual and county-specific mean annual incidence rates. A total of 3,409 cases were reported. Median patient age was 49 (interquartile range 33-61) years, 2,079 (61%) patients were male, 1,273 (57%) patients were hospitalized, and 76 (7%) patients died. Incidence rates varied markedly between and within states. The high hospitalization rate suggests that histoplasmosis surveillance underestimates the true number of cases. Improved surveillance standardization and surveillance by additional states would provide more comprehensive knowledge of histoplasmosis in the United States.

Outbreak of Severe Histoplasmosis Among Tunnel Workers-Dominican Republic, 2015.

Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection associated with exposure to bat guano. An outbreak of an unknown severe febrile illness occurred among tunnel workers in the Dominican Republic, and resulted in several deaths. We conducted an investigation to confirm etiology and recommend control measures.

Isolation of Candida auris from 9 patients in Central America: Importance of accurate diagnosis and susceptibility testing.

Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant (MDR) fungus associated with invasive infections and high mortality. This report describes 9 patients from whom C. auris was isolated at a hospital in Panama City, Panama, the first such cases in Central America, and highlights the challenges of accurate identification and methods for susceptibility testing.

Travel-Associated Zika Virus Disease Cases Among U.S. Residents--United States, January 2015-February 2016.

Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus. Recent outbreaks of Zika virus disease in the Pacific Islands and the Region of the Americas have identified new modes of transmission and clinical manifestations, including adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, data on the epidemiology and clinical findings of laboratory-confirmed Zika virus disease remain limited. During January 1, 2015-February 26, 2016, a total of 116 residents of 33 U.S. states and the District of Columbia had laboratory evidence of recent Zika virus infection based on testing performed at CDC. Cases include one congenital infection and 115 persons who reported recent travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission (n = 110) or sexual contact with such a traveler (n = 5). All 115 patients had clinical illness, with the most common signs and symptoms being rash (98%; n = 113), fever (82%; 94), and arthralgia (66%; 76). Health care providers should educate patients, particularly pregnant women, about the risks for, and measures to prevent, infection with Zika virus and other mosquito-borne viruses. Zika virus disease should be considered in patients with acute onset of fever, rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis, who traveled to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission ( or who had unprotected sex with a person who traveled to one of those areas and developed compatible symptoms within 2 weeks of returning.

Local Transmission of Zika Virus--Puerto Rico, November 23, 2015-January 28, 2016.

Zika virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, spread to the Region of the Americas (Americas) in mid-2015, and appears to be related to congenital microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome (1,2). On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the occurrence of microcephaly cases in association with Zika virus infection to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.* On December 31, 2015, Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDH) reported the first locally acquired (index) case of Zika virus disease in a jurisdiction of the United States in a patient from southeastern Puerto Rico. During November 23, 2015-January 28, 2016, passive and enhanced surveillance for Zika virus disease identified 30 laboratory-confirmed cases. Most (93%) patients resided in eastern Puerto Rico or the San Juan metropolitan area. The most frequently reported signs and symptoms were rash (77%), myalgia (77%), arthralgia (73%), and fever (73%). Three (10%) patients were hospitalized. One case occurred in a patient hospitalized for Guillain-Barré syndrome, and one occurred in a pregnant woman. Because the most common mosquito vector of Zika virus, Aedes aegypti, is present throughout Puerto Rico, Zika virus is expected to continue to spread across the island. The public health response in Puerto Rico is being coordinated by PRDH with assistance from CDC. Clinicians in Puerto Rico should report all cases of microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and suspected Zika virus disease to PRDH. Other adverse reproductive outcomes, including fetal demise associated with Zika virus infection, should be reported to PRDH. To avoid infection with Zika virus, residents of and visitors to Puerto Rico, particularly pregnant women, should strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites, including wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts, using permethrin-treated clothing and gear, using an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent, and ensuring that windows and doors have intact screens.

An Experiential Learning Model Facilitates Learning of Bedside Ultrasound by Preclinical Medical Students.

To examine the effects of an experiential learning model of ultrasound training on preclinical medical students' knowledge and practice of Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) examination.

Emergency department ultrasound probe infection control: challenges and solutions.

Point-of-care ultrasound (US) has become a cornerstone in the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the emergency department (ED). Despite the beneficial impact on patient care, concern exists over repeat use of probes and the role as a vector for pathogen transmission. US probes are used for various applications, with the level of infection risk, based on the Spaulding Classification, ranging from noncritical with common practice to semicritical with endocavitary probes. To date, the most closely studied organisms are Staphylococcus aureus and human papilloma virus. Current evidence does confirm probe colonization but has not established a causative role in human infection. Based on current literature, US use during invasive procedures remains an infection control concern, but routine use on intact skin does not appear to cause significant risk to patients. Various barrier methods are available, each with indications based on extent of procedure and likelihood of contact with mucosal surfaces. Additionally, chemical cleansing methods have been shown to be effective in limiting probe contamination after use. New technologies utilizing ultraviolet light are available and effective but not widely used in the ED setting. As our understanding of the critical factors in US probe cleaning and disinfection improves, it is important to assess the challenges found in our current practice and to identify potential solutions to improve practices and procedures in infection control across the spectrum of US probe use in various applications in the ED. This article serves as a summary of the current literature available on infection control topics with the utilization of point-of-care US, and discusses challenges and potential solutions to improve the current practice of probe-related infection control.

Multisite exploration of clinical decision making for antibiotic use by emergency medicine providers using quantitative and qualitative methods.

To explore current practices and decision making regarding antimicrobial prescribing among emergency department (ED) clinical providers.

Inflammatory markers and risk of cerebrovascular events in patients initiating dialysis.

Stroke remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality for patients on dialysis; however, its risk factors in this population and measures to prevent it are not well understood.

Cerebrovascular disease incidence, characteristics, and outcomes in patients initiating dialysis: the choices for healthy outcomes in caring for ESRD (CHOICE) study.

Stroke is the third most common cause of cardiovascular disease death in patients on dialysis therapy; however, characteristics of cerebrovascular disease, including clinical subtypes and subsequent consequences, have not been well described.