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In 1992 we conducted an intensive archaeological surface survey in and around the modern town of Yautepec, Morelos, Mexico. Our goals were to determine the size and extent of the Aztec-period city of Yautepec, and to gather data on its spatial organization. This article describes the methods used and the results obtained toward achieving the first goal. Aztec Yautepec covered approximately 209 ha; this area is partly covered by the modern town and partly by open fields. Late Postclassic settlement was clustered around a structure that today is the largest known Aztec palace in central Mexico. We generate ethnohistoric and archaeological population estimates for Yautepec and discuss the city in relation to other Aztec urban settlements in Morelos and the Basin of Mexico.
Varicella is highly contagious, and immunocompromised patients are at increased risk of severe illness, including disseminated disease, pneumonia, and encephalitis. We describe an outbreak of varicella with likely breakthrough disease in a population of pediatric cancer patients in October 2004.
A 250-bed tertiary care pediatric facility with a 33-bed oncology unit, outpatient clinics, and affiliated group housing and schoolroom spaces.
We defined varicella as an acute illness with a maculopapulovesicular rash, without other apparent cause. We defined breakthrough disease as varicella with onset more than 42 days after vaccination. Cancer patients were considered to be nonimmune if serologic test results were negative for varicella-zoster virus. Family members were considered to be nonimmune if they had no history of infection with wild-type varicella-zoster virus or of varicella vaccination.
In a period of approximately 16 days, varicella was detected in 7 children (the index case, 5 secondary cases, and 1 tertiary case). Of the 7 identified cases, 4 appeared to be cases of breakthrough disease in previously vaccinated children. The outbreak resulted in the exposure of 82 families at a pediatric group housing facility; 28 children at the schoolroom; and 77 patients, 150 family members, and 9 staff members at 3 outpatient clinics.
This outbreak highlights the important role that breakthrough varicella can play in healthcare centers with affiliated group housing. Formal recommendations on the management of exposed individuals who have been vaccinated should be made in such settings, especially if immunocompromised hosts are present.
Pertussis outbreaks in healthcare settings result in resource-intensive control activities, but studies have rarely evaluated the associated costs. We describe and estimate costs associated with 2 nosocomial pertussis outbreaks in King County, Washington, during the period from July 25 to September 15, 2004. One outbreak occurred at a 500-bed tertiary care hospital (hospital A), and the other occurred at a 250-bed pediatric hospital (hospital B).
We estimated the costs of each outbreak from the hospitals' perspective through standardized interviews with hospital staff and review of contact tracing logs. Direct costs included personnel time and laboratory and medication costs, whereas indirect costs were those resulting from hospital staff furloughs.
Hospital A incurred direct costs of $195,342 and indirect costs of $68,015; hospital B incurred direct costs of $71,130 and indirect costs of $50,000. Cost differences resulted primarily from higher personnel costs at hospital A ($134,536), compared with hospital B ($21,645). Total cost per pertussis case was $43,893 for hospital A (6 cases) and $30,282 for hospital B (4 cases). Total cost per person exposed to a pertussis patient were $357 for hospital A (738 exposures) and $164 for hospital B (737 exposures).
Nosocomial pertussis outbreaks result in substantial costs to hospitals, even when the number of pertussis cases is low. The cost-effectiveness of strategies to prevent nosocomial pertussis outbreaks, including vaccination of healthcare workers, should be evaluated.
To describe a nosocomial outbreak of Salmonella serotype Saintpaul gastroenteritis and to explore risk factors for infection.
A 208-bed, university-affiliated children's hospital.
Patients hospitalized at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, during February 2001 who had stool specimens obtained for culture at least 24 hours after admission. Case-patients (n = 11) were patients with an indistinguishable strain of Salmonella Saintpaul cultured from their stool. Control-patients (n = 41) were patients hospitalized for problems other than gastroenteritis whose stool cultures were negative for Salmonella.
Risk factors were evaluated using the chisquare test or Fisher's exact test. Continuous variables were compared using the Mann–Whitney U test. A multivariable analysis was performed using logistic regression. The predictor of interest was the receipt of enteral feeding formula mixed by the hospital.
Case-patients were more likely than control-patients to have received formula mixed by the hospital (OR, 4.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 17.16). Other variables evaluated were not significant predictors of Salmonella Saintpaul infection.
Formula mixed by the hospital appears to have been the source of this Salmonella outbreak. Strict sanitation measures must be ensured in formula preparation and delivery, and bacterial pathogens should be included in the differential diagnosis for nosocomial gastroenteritis.
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