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Disease Outbreaks - Top 30 Publications

Zoonotic influenza viruses: antigenic and genetic characteristics and development of candidate vaccine viruses for pandemic preparedness.

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis in Scotland.

A cattle dashboard has recently been developed to share surveillance information gathered from submissions to the Great Britain veterinary diagnostic network. Data relating to Scotland come from the SAC C VS. This article, by Tim Geraghty, relates to cases of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis in Scotland, as summarised on the APHA Cattle Dashboard.

SAC C VS disease surveillance, June 2017.

Shortened limbs in pedigree Aberdeen Angus calvesSpinal listeriosis in a suckled calfTickborne fever in lambsAeromonas hydrophila pleuropneumonia in finishing pigsThese are among matters discussed in the disease surveillance report for June 2017 from SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services (SAC C VS).

Prevalence of risk factors for acquiring measles during the 2011 outbreak in Quebec and impact of the province-wide school-based vaccination campaign on population immunity.

A large measles outbreak occurred in Quebec, Canada, in 2011. Although nearly two-thirds of the cases occurred in only two health districts, a mass vaccination campaign targeting all Quebec elementary and high school students without valid two-dose history was undertaken to prevent future outbreaks. We compared rates of non-vaccination and age at first measles vaccine dose among students in the two most-affected districts and the rest of the province and estimated the improvement in overall student measles immunity due to the mass school-based vaccination campaign.

Bla-OXA48 gene microorganisms outbreak, in a tertiary Children's Hospital, Over 3 years (2012-2014): Case Report.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are an emerging problem in children. Nosocomial spread remains the principal risk factor for acquisition of these microorganisms.

Update: Influenza Activity - United States and Worldwide, May 21-September 23, 2017.

During May 21-September 23, 2017,* the United States experienced low-level seasonal influenza virus activity; however, beginning in early September, CDC received reports of a small number of localized influenza outbreaks caused by influenza A(H3N2) viruses. In addition to influenza A(H3N2) viruses, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and influenza B viruses were detected during May-September worldwide and in the United States. Influenza B viruses predominated in the United States from late May through late June, and influenza A viruses predominated beginning in early July. The majority of the influenza viruses collected and received from the United States and other countries during that time have been characterized genetically or antigenically as being similar to the 2017 Southern Hemisphere and 2017-18 Northern Hemisphere cell-grown vaccine reference viruses; however, a smaller proportion of the circulating A(H3N2) viruses showed similarity to the egg-grown A(H3N2) vaccine reference virus which represents the A(H3N2) viruses used for the majority of vaccine production in the United States. Also, during May 21-September 23, 2017, CDC confirmed a total of 33 influenza variant virus(†) infections; two were influenza A(H1N2) variant (H1N2v) viruses (Ohio) and 31 were influenza A(H3N2) variant (H3N2v) viruses (Delaware [1], Maryland [13], North Dakota [1], Pennsylvania [1], and Ohio [15]). An additional 18 specimens from Maryland have tested presumptive positive for H3v and further analysis is being conducted at CDC.

tsiR: An R package for time-series Susceptible-Infected-Recovered models of epidemics.

tsiR is an open source software package implemented in the R programming language designed to analyze infectious disease time-series data. The software extends a well-studied and widely-applied algorithm, the time-series Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (TSIR) model, to infer parameters from incidence data, such as contact seasonality, and to forward simulate the underlying mechanistic model. The tsiR package aggregates a number of different fitting features previously described in the literature in a user-friendly way, providing support for their broader adoption in infectious disease research. Also included in tsiR are a number of diagnostic tools to assess the fit of the TSIR model. This package should be useful for researchers analyzing incidence data for fully-immunizing infectious diseases.

Notes from the Field: Outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni Associated with Consuming Undercooked Chicken Liver Mousse - Clark County, Washington, 2016.

On July 13, 2016, Clark County (Washington) Public Health (CCPH) received a report of diarrheal illness in four of seven members of a single party who dined at a local restaurant on July 6, 2016. The report was received through an online/telephone system for reporting food service-associated illness complaints. Members of the five households in the party reported that their only shared exposure was the restaurant meal. CCPH ordered closure of the restaurant kitchen on July 13, 2016, and began an investigation to identify the source of diarrheal illness and implement additional control measures.

Impact of environmental factors on neglected emerging arboviral diseases.

Brazil is a tropical country that is largely covered by rainforests and other natural ecosystems, which provide ideal conditions for the existence of many arboviruses. However, few analyses have examined the associations between environmental factors and arboviral diseases. Thus, based on the hypothesis of correlation between environment and epidemiology, the proposals of this study were (1) to obtain the probability of occurrence of Oropouche, Mayaro, Saint Louis and Rocio fevers in Brazil based on environmental conditions corresponding to the periods of occurrence of the outbreaks; (2) to describe the macroclimatic scenario in Brazil in the last 50 years, evaluating if there was any detectable tendency to increase temperatures and (3) to model future expansion of those arboviruses in Brazil based on future temperature projections.

Infectious Diseases Associated With Organized Sports and Outbreak Control.

Participation in organized sports has a variety of health benefits but also has the potential to expose the athlete to a variety of infectious diseases, some of which may produce outbreaks. Major risk factors for infection include skin-to-skin contact with athletes who have active skin infections, environmental exposures and physical trauma, and sharing of equipment and contact with contaminated fomites. Close contact that is intrinsic to team sports and psychosocial factors associated with adolescence are additional risks. Minimizing risk requires leadership by the organized sports community (including the athlete's primary care provider) and depends on outlining key hygiene behaviors, recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of common sports-related infections, and the implementation of preventive interventions.

The Global Threat of Animal Influenza Viruses of Zoonotic Concern: Then and Now.

Animal influenza viruses can reassort or mutate to infect and spread sustainably among people and cause a devastating worldwide pandemic. Since the first evidence of human infection with an animal influenza virus, in 1958, 16 different novel, zoonotic influenza A virus subtype groups in 29 countries, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have caused human infections, with differing severity and frequency. The frequency of novel influenza virus detection is increasing, and human infections with influenza A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) viruses are now annual seasonal occurrences in Asia. The study of the epidemiology and virology of animal influenza viruses is key to understanding pandemic risk and informing preparedness. This supplement brings together select recent articles that look at the risk of emergence and transmission of and approaches to prevent novel influenza virus infections.

Mild Respiratory Illness Among Young Children Caused by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus Infection in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2011.

In March 2011, a multidisciplinary team investigated 2 human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection, detected through population-based active surveillance for influenza in Bangladesh, to assess transmission and contain further spread.

Risk of Human Infections With Highly Pathogenic H5N2 and Low Pathogenic H7N1 Avian Influenza Strains During Outbreaks in Ostriches in South Africa.

Risk factors for human infection with highly pathogenic (HP) and low-pathogenic (LP) avian influenza (AI) H5N2 and H7N1 were investigated during outbreaks in ostriches in the Western Cape province, South Africa.

Global reaction to the recent outbreaks of Zika virus: Insights from a Big Data analysis.

The recent spreading of Zika virus represents an emerging global health threat. As such, it is attracting public interest worldwide, generating a great amount of related Internet searches and social media interactions. The aim of this research was to understand Zika-related digital behavior throughout the epidemic spreading and to assess its consistence with real-world epidemiological data, using a behavioral informatics and analytics approach.

Opioid Overdose Outbreak - West Virginia, August 2016.

On August 15, 2016, the Mayor's Office of Drug Control Policy in Huntington, West Virginia, notified the Cabell-Huntington Health Department (CHHD) of multiple calls regarding opioid overdose received by the emergency medical system (EMS) during 3 p.m.-8 p.m. that day. A public health investigation and response conducted by the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (BPH) and CHHD identified 20 opioid overdose cases within a 53-hour period in Cabell County; all cases included emergency department (ED) encounters. EMS personnel, other first responders, and ED providers administered the opioid antidote naloxone to 16 (80%) patients, six of whom were administered multiple doses, suggesting exposure to a highly potent opioid. No patients received referral for recovery support services. In addition to the public health investigation, a public safety investigation was conducted; comprehensive opioid toxicology testing of clinical specimens identified the synthetic opioid fentanyl* and novel fentanyl analogs, including carfentanil,(†) which had been used by patients who overdosed in Huntington. Results of these two investigations highlight the importance of collaboration between public health and public safety agencies to provide in-depth surveillance data from opioid overdose outbreaks that involve high-potency fentanyl analogs. These data facilitated a public health response through increased awareness of powerful opioid substances requiring multiple naloxone doses for reversal, and improved patient linkage to recovery support services and a harm reduction program from the ED after opioid overdose.

Long-term Chikungunya Sequelae in Curaçao: Burden, Determinants, and a Novel Classification Tool.

Beyond the acute illness phase, chikungunya constitutes a public health problem given its chronic disease phase, which may include long-term arthralgia, arthritis, fatigue, and depression. Currently, there is no consensus on how to define chikungunya chronicity.

Real-time genomic investigation underlying the public health response to a Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26:H11 outbreak in a nursery.

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a significant cause of gastrointestinal infection and the haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). STEC outbreaks are commonly associated with food but animal contact is increasingly being implicated in its transmission. We report an outbreak of STEC affecting young infants at a nursery in a rural community (three HUS cases, one definite case, one probable case, three possible cases and five carriers, based on the combination of clinical, epidemiological and laboratory data) identified using culture-based and molecular techniques. The investigation identified repeated animal contact (animal farming and petting) as a likely source of STEC introduction followed by horizontal transmission. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was used for real-time investigation of the incident and revealed a unique strain of STEC O26:H11 carrying stx2a and intimin. Following a public health intervention, no additional cases have occurred. This is the first STEC outbreak reported from Israel. WGS proved as a useful tool for rapid laboratory characterization and typing of the outbreak strain and informed the public health response at an early stage of this unusual outbreak.

Looking forward – April 2017.

Suspect drug interaction in gimmers.

Suspect serious adverse event associated with vaccination in gimmersMultiple congenital defects in a stillborn calfSuspected alpha mannosidosis in a bovine fetusClostridial myocarditis in a two-week-old lambOtitis media in pigs These are among matters discussed in the disease surveillance report for May 2017 from SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services (SAC C VS).

Outbreaks of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis caused by human adenovirus type 8 in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in 2016.

From April to November 2016, two outbreaks of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) occurred successively at primary and middle schools in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, and a total of 197 clinically diagnosed cases were reported. Real-time PCR analyses confirmed that human adenovirus (HAdV) infection was related to these outbreaks. Further studies involving sequence determination and phylogenetic analysis based on the penton base, hexon, and fiber genes indicated that human adenovirus type 8 (HAdV-8), belonging to species D, was responsible for the outbreaks. This is the first report of a HAdV-8 associated EKC outbreak in mainland of China, and the results of this study are expected to provide support for future research into HAdV-8 in China.

Host outdoor exposure variability affects the transmission and spread of Zika virus: Insights for epidemic control.

Zika virus transmission dynamics in urban environments follow a complex spatiotemporal pattern that appears unpredictable and barely related to high mosquito density areas. In this context, human activity patterns likely have a major role in Zika transmission dynamics. This paper examines the effect of host variability in the amount of time spent outdoors on Zika epidemiology in an urban environment.

Assessment of Hospital Emergency Department Response to Potentially Infectious Diseases Using Unannounced Mystery Patient Drills - New York City, 2016.

Recent outbreaks of infectious diseases have revealed significant health care system vulnerabilities and highlighted the importance of rapid recognition and isolation of patients with potentially severe infectious diseases. During December 2015-May 2016, a series of unannounced "mystery patient drills" was carried out to assess New York City Emergency Departments' (EDs) abilities to identify and respond to patients with communicable diseases of public health concern. Drill scenarios presented a patient reporting signs or symptoms and travel history consistent with possible measles or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Evaluators captured key infection control performance measures, including time to patient masking and isolation. Ninety-five drills (53 measles and 42 MERS) were conducted in 49 EDs with patients masked and isolated in 78% of drills. Median time from entry to masking was 1.5 minutes (range = 0-47 minutes) and from entry to isolation was 8.5 minutes (range = 1-57). Hospitals varied in their ability to identify potentially infectious patients and implement recommended infection control measures in a timely manner. Drill findings were used to inform hospital improvement planning to more rapidly and consistently identify and isolate patients with a potentially highly infectious disease.

Descriptive epidemiology of a cholera outbreak in Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria, 2014.

Cholera is an acute gastrointestinal infection caused by Vibrio cholerae, which may lead to severe dehydration and death if not treated. This analysis is aimed at highlighting the magnitude, pattern and trend of cholera outbreak that occurred in Kaduna State in 2014.

Outbreaks attributed to pork in the United States, 1998-2015.

Each year in the United States, an estimated 525 000 infections, 2900 hospitalizations, and 82 deaths are attributed to consumption of pork. We analyzed the epidemiology of outbreaks attributed to pork in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1998-2015. During that period, 288 outbreaks were attributed to pork, resulting in 6372 illnesses, 443 hospitalizations, and four deaths. The frequency of outbreaks attributed to pork decreased by 37% during this period, consistent with a decline in total foodborne outbreaks. However, outbreaks attributed to pork increased by 73% in 2015 (19 outbreaks) compared with the previous 3 years (average of 11 outbreaks per year), without a similar increase in total foodborne outbreaks. Most (>99%) of these outbreaks occurred among people exposed in the same state. The most frequent etiology shifted from Staphylococcus aureus toxin during 1998-2001 (19%) to Salmonella during 2012-2015 (46%). Outbreaks associated with ham decreased from eight outbreaks per year during 1998-2001, to one per year during 2012-2015 (P < 0·01). Additional efforts are necessary to reduce outbreaks and sporadic illnesses associated with pork products.

Knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus diseases in Uganda using quantitative and participatory epidemiology techniques.

Uganda has reported five (5) Ebola virus disease outbreaks and three (3) Marburg virus disease outbreaks from 2000 to 2016. Peoples' knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus disease impact on control and prevention measures especially during outbreaks. We describe knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks in two affected communities in Uganda to inform future outbreak responses and help in the design of health education and communication messages.

Effectiveness and economic assessment of routine larviciding for prevention of chikungunya and dengue in temperate urban settings in Europe.

In the last decades, several European countries where arboviral infections are not endemic have faced outbreaks of diseases such as chikungunya and dengue, initially introduced by infectious travellers from tropical endemic areas and then spread locally via mosquito bites. To keep in check the epidemiological risk, interventions targeted to control vector abundance can be implemented by local authorities. We assessed the epidemiological effectiveness and economic costs and benefits of routine larviciding in European towns with temperate climate, using a mathematical model of Aedes albopictus populations and viral transmission, calibrated on entomological surveillance data collected from ten municipalities in Northern Italy during 2014 and 2015.We found that routine larviciding of public catch basins can limit both the risk of autochthonous transmission and the size of potential epidemics. Ideal larvicide interventions should be timed in such a way to cover the month of July. Optimally timed larviciding can reduce locally transmitted cases of chikungunya by 20% - 33% for a single application (dengue: 18-22%) and up to 43% - 65% if treatment is repeated four times throughout the season (dengue: 31-51%). In larger municipalities (>35,000 inhabitants), the cost of comprehensive larviciding over the whole urban area overcomes potential health benefits related to preventing cases of disease, suggesting the adoption of more localized interventions. Small/medium sized towns with high mosquito abundance will likely have a positive cost-benefit balance. Involvement of private citizens in routine larviciding activities further reduces transmission risks but with disproportionate costs of intervention. International travels and the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases are increasing worldwide, exposing a growing number of European citizens to higher risks of potential outbreaks. Results from this study may support the planning and timing of interventions aimed to reduce the probability of autochthonous transmission as well as the nuisance for local populations living in temperate areas of Europe.

Science in Emergency Response at CDC: Structure and Functions.

Recent high-profile activations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) include responses to the West African Ebola and Zika virus epidemics. Within the EOC, emergency responses are organized according to the Incident Management System, which provides a standardized structure and chain of command, regardless of whether the EOC activation occurs in response to an outbreak, natural disaster, or other type of public health emergency. By embedding key scientific roles, such as the associate director for science, and functions within a Scientific Response Section, the current CDC emergency response structure ensures that both urgent and important science issues receive needed attention. Key functions during emergency responses include internal coordination of scientific work, data management, information dissemination, and scientific publication. We describe a case example involving the ongoing Zika virus response that demonstrates how the scientific response structure can be used to rapidly produce high-quality science needed to answer urgent public health questions and guide policy. Within the context of emergency response, longer-term priorities at CDC include both streamlining administrative requirements and funding mechanisms for scientific research.

2015 Pandemic Influenza Readiness Assessment Among US Public Health Emergency Preparedness Awardees.

To assess how US Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) awardees plan to respond to an influenza pandemic with vaccination.

Applying the 15 Public Health Emergency Preparedness Capabilities to Support Large-Scale Tuberculosis Investigations in Complex Congregate Settings.

Public Health-Seattle and King County, a metropolitan health department in western Washington, experiences rates of tuberculosis (TB) that are 1.6 times higher than are state and national averages. The department's TB Control Program uses public health emergency management tools and capabilities sustained with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant funding to manage large-scale complex case investigations. We have described 3 contact investigations in large congregate settings that the TB Control Program conducted in 2015 and 2016. The program managed the investigations using public health emergency management tools, with support from the Preparedness Program. The 3 investigations encompassed medical evaluation of more than 1600 people, used more than 100 workers, identified nearly 30 individuals with latent TB infection, and prevented an estimated 3 cases of active disease. These incidents exemplify how investments in public health emergency preparedness can enhance health outcomes in traditional areas of public health.

The Evolution of Public Health Emergency Management as a Field of Practice.

The health impacts of recent global infectious disease outbreaks and other disasters have demonstrated the importance of strengthening public health systems to better protect communities from naturally occurring and human-caused threats. Public health emergency management (PHEM) is an emergent field of practice that draws on specific sets of knowledge, techniques, and organizing principles necessary for the effective management of complex health events. We highlight how the nascent field of PHEM has evolved in recent years. We explore this development by first examining multiple sites of intersection between the fields of public health and emergency management. We then analyze 2 of the principal pillars on which PHEM was built: organizational and programmatic (i.e., industry) standards and the incident management system. This is followed by a sketch of the key domains, or functional areas, of PHEM and their application to the emergency management cycle. We conclude with some observations about PHEM in a global context and discuss how the field might continue to evolve.