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In November and December 2012, 6 patients at a hemodialysis clinic were given a diagnosis of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
To investigate the outbreak to identify risk factors for transmission.
A case patient was defined as a patient who was HCV-antibody negative on clinic admission but subsequently was found to be HCV-antibody positive from January 1, 2008, through April 30, 2013. Patient charts were reviewed to identify and describe case patients. The hypervariable region 1 of HCV from infected patients was tested to assess viral genetic relatedness. Infection control practices were evaluated via observations. A forensic chemiluminescent agent was used to identify blood contamination on environmental surfaces after cleaning.
Eighteen case patients were identified at the clinic from January 1, 2008, through April 30, 2013, resulting in an estimated 16.7% attack rate. Analysis of HCV quasispecies identified 4 separate clusters of transmission involving 11 case patients. The case patients and previously infected patients in each cluster were treated in neighboring dialysis stations during the same shift, or at the same dialysis station on 2 consecutive shifts. Lapses in infection control were identified. Visible and invisible blood was identified on multiple surfaces at the clinic.
Epidemiologic and laboratory data confirmed transmission of HCV among numerous patients at the dialysis clinic over 6 years. Infection control breaches were likely responsible. This outbreak highlights the importance of rigorous adherence to recommended infection control practices in dialysis settings.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):125–133
The purpose of this trial was to compare three different iodine interventions.
School children aged 8–10 years were randomized into one of three groups: group A was provided with iodized salt by researchers with an iodine concentration of 25 ppm; group B purchased iodized salt from the market; and group C was similar to group B with the exception that they were given iodized oil capsules containing 400 mg iodine at the beginning of the study. Salt iodine content was measured bimonthly for 18 months and indicators of iodine deficiency were measured at baseline and 6, 9, 12 and 18 months after randomization.
The prevalence of abnormal thyroid volumes, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) body surface area reference > 97th percentile, was 18% at baseline and declined to less than 5% by 12 months in groups A and C, and to 9% after 18 months in group B. Results for goitre by palpation were similar. The median urinary iodine was 94 μgl−1 at baseline and increased in all groups to > 200 μgl−1 at the 6-month follow-up.
In this population of school children with initially a low to moderate level of iodine deficiency, the group receiving salt with 25 ppm (group A) was not iodine deficient on all indicators after 18 months of study. When the iodine content of the salt varied, such as in group B, by 18 months thyroid sizes had not yet achieved normal status.
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