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During the summer of 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health responded to the second-largest domestic foodborne hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in the post-vaccine era. The epidemiological investigation included case finding and investigation, sequencing of RNA positive clinical specimens, product trace-back and virologic testing and sequencing of HAV RNA from the product. Additionally, an online survey open to all Hawaii residents was conducted to estimate baseline commercial food consumption. We identified 292 confirmed HAV cases, of whom 11 (4%) were possible secondary cases. Seventy-four (25%) were hospitalised and there were two deaths. Among all cases, 94% reported eating at Oahu or Kauai Island branches of Restaurant Chain A, with 86% of those cases reporting raw scallop consumption. In contrast, a food consumption survey conducted during the outbreak indicated 25% of Oahu residents patronised Restaurant Chain A in the 7 weeks before the survey. Product trace-back revealed a single distributor that supplied scallops imported from the Philippines to Restaurant Chain A. Recovery, amplification and sequence comparison of HAV recovered from scallops revealed viral sequences matching those from case-patients. Removal of product from implicated restaurants and vaccination of those potentially exposed led to the cessation of the outbreak. This outbreak further highlights the need for improved imported food safety.
Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS), which is triggered by autoantibodies produced in response to antigenic stimuli such as certain infections and vaccinations, is the most common cause of acute flaccid paralysis worldwide. Campylobacter, the most common bacterial enteric infection in the USA, is reported to be the most commonly diagnosed antecedent of GBS, yet little information is available about the risk of post-Campylobacter GBS. Data collected through active, population-based surveillance in the Emerging Infections Program during the 2009–2010 novel Influenza A (H1N1) vaccination campaign allowed us to compare confirmed and probable GBS cases to non-cases to determine whether antecedent Campylobacter infection (or a diarrhoeal illness consistent with campylobacteriosis) was more common among cases and to assess the risk of GBS following Campylobacter infection. We estimate that 8–12% of GBS cases in the USA are attributable to Campylobacter infection (or a diarrhoeal illness consistent with campylobacteriosis), with 434–650 cases of post-diarrhoeal GBS annually and about 49 cases of GBS per 100 000 Campylobacter infections. These results provide updated estimates for post-Campylobacter GBS incidence in the USA and highlight an important benefit of effective measures to prevent Campylobacter infections.
We describe the investigation of two temporally coincident illness clusters involving salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus in two states. Cases were defined as gastrointestinal illness following two meal events. Investigators interviewed ill persons. Stool, food and environmental samples underwent pathogen testing. Alabama: Eighty cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 5·8 h. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified from 27 of 28 stool specimens tested, and coagulase-positive S. aureus was isolated from three of 16 ill persons. Environmental investigation indicated that food handling deficiencies occurred. Colorado: Seven cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 4·5 h. Five persons were hospitalised, four of whom were admitted to the intensive care unit. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in six of seven stool specimens and coagulase-positive S. aureus in three of six tested. No single food item was implicated in either outbreak. These two outbreaks were linked to infection with Salmonella Heidelberg, but additional factors, such as dual aetiology that included S. aureus or the dose of salmonella ingested may have contributed to the short incubation periods and high illness severity. The outbreaks underscore the importance of measures to prevent foodborne illness through appropriate washing, handling, preparation and storage of food.
As part of further investigations into three linked haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) cases in Wales and England, 21 rats from a breeding colony in Cherwell, and three rats from a household in Cheltenham were screened for hantavirus. Hantavirus RNA was detected in either the lungs and/or kidney of 17/21 (81%) of the Cherwell rats tested, higher than previously detected by blood testing alone (7/21, 33%), and in the kidneys of all three Cheltenham rats. The partial L gene sequences obtained from 10 of the Cherwell rats and the three Cheltenham rats were identical to each other and the previously reported UK Cherwell strain. Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) RNA was detected in the heart, kidney, lung, salivary gland and spleen (but not in the liver) of an individual rat from the Cherwell colony suspected of being the source of SEOV. Serum from 20/20 of the Cherwell rats and two associated HFRS cases had high levels of SEOV-specific antibodies (by virus neutralisation). The high prevalence of SEOV in both sites and the moderately severe disease in the pet rat owners suggest that SEOV in pet rats poses a greater public health risk than previously considered.
Passive surveillance for lyssaviruses in UK bats has been ongoing since 1987 and has identified 13 cases of EBLV-2 from a single species; Myotis daubentonii. No other lyssavirus species has been detected. Between 2005 and 2015, 10 656 bats were submitted, representing 18 species, creating a spatially and temporally uneven sample of British bat fauna. Uniquely, three UK cases originate from a roost at Stokesay Castle in Shropshire, England, where daily checks for grounded and dead bats are undertaken and bat carcasses have been submitted for testing since 2007. Twenty per cent of Daubenton's bats submitted from Stokesay Castle since surveillance began, have tested positive for EBLV-2. Phylogenetic analysis reveals geographical clustering of UK viruses. Isolates from Stokesay Castle are more closely related to one another than to viruses from other regions. Daubenton's bats from Stokesay Castle represent a unique opportunity to study a natural population that appears to maintain EBLV-2 infection and may represent endemic infection at this site. Although the risk to public health from EBLV-2 is low, consequences of infection are severe and effective communication on the need for prompt post-exposure prophylaxis for anyone that has been bitten by a bat is essential.
Many state and local groups in the Northeast are attempting to increase their employment base by attracting new industry. Unfortunately the success rate of these activities is not good. Despite the public relations hype associated with “successes,” serious evaluation of these activities raise questions regarding their efficiency. For example, the Alabama Business Research Council has documented that two-thirds of the plants that accepted industrial development bonds indicate that they would have chosen the same location even if the inducements had not been offered; thus, many “successes” were illusions. In addition, others have documented the complete failure of many types of industrial inducement programs (Cornia, Testa and Stocker; Stinson). Thus, the question is why haven't location inducement programs been more successful?
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
We conducted a prospective cohort study between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012 at five adult and paediatric academic medical centres to identify factors associated with persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation. Adults and children presenting to ambulatory settings with a MRSA skin and soft tissue infection (i.e. index cases), along with household members, performed self-sampling for MRSA colonisation every 2 weeks for 6 months. Clearance of colonisation was defined as two consecutive negative sampling periods. Subjects without clearance by the end of the study were considered persistently colonised and compared with those who cleared colonisation. Of 243 index cases, 48 (19·8%) had persistent colonisation and 110 (45·3%) cleared colonisation without recurrence. Persistent colonisation was associated with white race (odds ratio (OR), 4·90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1·38–17·40), prior MRSA infection (OR 3·59; 95% CI 1·05–12·35), colonisation of multiple sites (OR 32·7; 95% CI 6·7–159·3). Conversely, subjects with persistent colonisation were less likely to have been treated with clindamycin (OR 0·28; 95% CI 0·08–0·99). Colonisation at multiple sites is a risk factor for persistent colonisation and may require more targeted decolonisation efforts. The specific effect of clindamycin on MRSA colonisation needs to be elucidated.
The UK government's proposal for 24-hour healthcare means effectively asking doctors to work more unsociable hours for relatively little financial gain. In our opinion, psychiatry is particularly vulnerable to deterioration owing to negotiations of the terms of the current Consultant Contract that ensures fewer antisocial hours, whereas without parallel appropriate internal team and intra-agency working, provisions for which are not included in the government's proposals to extend care, patient care is vulnerable. Clarification and a narrower redefinition of what constitutes a psychiatric emergency is called for.
To assess the relative validity of a semi-quantitative, web-based FFQ completed by female pregnancy planners in the Danish ‘Snart Forældre’ study.
We validated a web-based FFQ based on the FFQ used in the Danish National Birth Cohort against a 4 d food diary (FD) and assessed the relative validity of intakes of foods and nutrients. We compared means and medians of intakes, and calculated Pearson correlation coefficients and de-attenuated coefficients to assess agreement between the two methods. We also calculated the proportion correctly classified based on the same or adjacent quintile of intake and the proportion of grossly misclassified (extreme quintiles).
Participants (n 128) in the ‘Snart Forældre’ study who had completed the web-based FFQ were invited to participate in the validation study.
Participants in the ‘Snart Forældre’ study, in total ninety-seven women aged 20–42 years.
Reported intakes of dairy products, vegetables and potatoes were higher in the FFQ compared with the FD, whereas reported intakes of fruit, meat, sugar and beverages were lower in the FFQ than in the FD. Overall the de-attenuated correlation coefficients were acceptable, ranging from 0·33 for energy to 0·93 for vitamin D. The majority of the women were classified in the same or adjacent quintile and few women were misclassified (extreme quintiles).
The web-based FFQ performs well for ranking women of reproductive age according to high or low intake of foods and nutrients and, thus, provides a solid basis for investigating associations between diet and fertility.
The 2013 multistate outbreaks contributed to the largest annual number of reported US cases of cyclosporiasis since 1997. In this paper we focus on investigations in Texas. We defined an outbreak-associated case as laboratory-confirmed cyclosporiasis in a person with illness onset between 1 June and 31 August 2013, with no history of international travel in the previous 14 days. Epidemiological, environmental, and traceback investigations were conducted. Of the 631 cases reported in the multistate outbreaks, Texas reported the greatest number of cases, 270 (43%). More than 70 clusters were identified in Texas, four of which were further investigated. One restaurant-associated cluster of 25 case-patients was selected for a case-control study. Consumption of cilantro was most strongly associated with illness on meal date-matched analysis (matched odds ratio 19·8, 95% confidence interval 4·0–∞). All case-patients in the other three clusters investigated also ate cilantro. Traceback investigations converged on three suppliers in Puebla, Mexico. Cilantro was the vehicle of infection in the four clusters investigated; the temporal association of these clusters with the large overall increase in cyclosporiasis cases in Texas suggests cilantro was the vehicle of infection for many other cases. However, the paucity of epidemiological and traceback information does not allow for a conclusive determination; moreover, molecular epidemiological tools for cyclosporiasis that could provide more definitive linkage between case clusters are needed.
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a non-steroidal estrogen that was commonly prescribed during pregnancy from the late 1940s to 1971. A potent endocrine disruptor, prenatal DES exposure has been linked with reproductive tract malformations, adverse pregnancy outcomes, cancer, infertility and earlier menopause. DES was used for years as a growth promoter in animal production. Some animal studies suggest that prenatal DES exposure is associated with obesity and metabolic disturbances. Using data from the National Cancer Institute DES Follow-Up Study, we evaluated the association between DES and adult obesity, weight gain from age 20 to mid-life, central adiposity and height among 2871 prenatally exposed and 1352 unexposed women between 23 and 52 years of age (median 41.5) at baseline in 1994. DES exposure status was confirmed by prenatal medical record review. We used multivariable log-binomial models to calculate risk ratios (RRs) for obesity in 2006, and linear regression to calculate mean differences in body mass index, weight gain, waist circumference and height. The adjusted RR for DES and obesity was 1.09 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.97, 1.22], and RRs were 1.23 (CI: 1.07, 1.42) and 1.05 (CI: 0.91, 1.20) for low and high estimated total DES dose, respectively, compared with no exposure. DES-exposed women gained slightly more weight than unexposed women [mean difference, 0.70 kg (CI: −0.27, 1.66)]. This study suggests that prenatal DES exposure may be associated with a small increase in adult obesity.
Since the publication of “A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals” in 2008, prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has become a national priority. Despite improvements, preventable HAIs continue to occur. The 2014 updates to the Compendium were created to provide acute care hospitals with up-to-date, practical, expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing their HAI prevention efforts. They are the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS).
Since the publication of “A Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals” in 2008, prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) has become a national priority. Despite improvements, preventable HAIs continue to occur. The 2014 updates to the Compendium were created to provide acute care hospitals with up-to-date, practical, expert guidance to assist in prioritizing and implementing their HAI prevention efforts. They are the product of a highly collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), and The Joint Commission, with major contributions from representatives of a number of organizations and societies with content expertise, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM), and the Surgical Infection Society (SIS).
In August 2011, one of the earliest cases of influenza A(H3N2) variant [A(H3N2)v] virus infection was hospitalized with severe illness. To investigate the potential for healthcare-associated transmission of influenza A(H3N2)v, we evaluated both healthcare providers and patient contacts of the case. We found that healthcare-associated transmission was unlikely.
Recent studies have demonstrated that central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are preventable through implementation of evidence-based prevention practices. Hospitals have reported CLABSI data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since the 1970s, providing an opportunity to characterize the national impact of CLABSIs over time. Our objective was to describe changes in the annual number of CLABSIs in critical care patients in the United States.
Monte Carlo simulation.
US acute care hospitals.
Nonneonatal critical care patients.
We obtained administrative data on patient-days for nearly all US hospitals and applied CLABSI rates from the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance and the National Healthcare Safety Network systems to estimate the annual number of CLABSIs in critical care patients nationally during the period 1990–2010 and the number of CLABSIs prevented since 1990.
We estimated that there were between 462,000 and 636,000 CLABSIs in nonneonatal critical care patients in the United States during 1990–2010. CLABSI rate reductions led to between 104,000 and 198,000 fewer CLABSIs than would have occurred if rates had remained unchanged since 1990. There were 15,000 hospital-onset CLABSIs in nonneonatal critical care patients in 2010; 70% occurred in medium and large teaching hospitals.
Substantial progress has been made in reducing the occurrence of CLABSIs in US critical care patients over the past 2 decades. The concentration of critical care CLABSIs in medium and large teaching hospitals suggests that a targeted approach may be warranted to continue achieving reductions in critical care CLABSIs nationally.
We report an interesting property of carbon dots: they emit light under charge injection. We synthesized carbon dots in diameter about 20 nm using wet chemistry methods. The photoluminescence quantum efficiency of the carbon dots dissolved in water was about 11%. We observed strong electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) from the sample. This observation of ECL from carbon dots indicates that they could be a good candidate material for carbon-based electroluminescent devices.