Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal
Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 19, No. 12 (December 2013)
The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the December 2013 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature zoonotic infections.
Note: Not all articles published in EID represent work done at CDC. In your stories, please clarify whether a study was conducted by CDC (“a CDC study”) or by another institution (“a study published by CDC”). The opinions expressed by authors contributing to EID do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CDC or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated.
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1. Twenty-year Summary of Surveillance for Human Hantavirus Infections, United States, Barbara Knust and Pierre E. Rollin
Already, 20 years have gone by since the discovery of a disease syndrome of the lungs (hantavirus pulmonary syndrome), the hantavirus that causes it (Sin Nombre virus), and the mouse that harbors it (the deer mouse) in the southwestern United States. A review of surveillance (tracking) data from the past 20 years has counted more than 600 cases of hantavirus infection in people, with >95% of cases occurring west of the Mississippi River. Several hantaviruses are found throughout the U.S., and infections in humans can occur wherever humans come into contact with infected rodents. Although hantavirus pulmonary syndrome caused by Sin Nombre virus remains the most common form of hantavirus infection, mild infections without any lung involvement have been found, and some hantaviruses in the U.S. associated with rats can cause kidney disease. Doctors should consider hantavirus as a cause of infection also for patients who have symptoms other than lung symptoms, who have been exposed to rodents other than deer mice, and who live in areas other than the southwestern United States.
Contact Dr. Barbara Knust via:
CDC Press Office
2. Review of Institute of Medicine and National Research Council Recommendations for One Health Initiative, Carol Rubin et al.
The health and viability of humans, animals, and ecosystems are inextricably linked. This linkage forms the basis of One Health: a collaboration of several disciplines—working locally, nationally, and globally—to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment. To help determine the future direction of One Health, an inter-agency working group reviewed past recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council and assessed if recommendations related to the One Health approach had been adequately addressed. The authors concluded that although activities and programs are taking excellent steps in the right direction, they do not respond to some of the recommendations. In particular, more attention needs to be paid to inter-disciplinary collaboration, resource sharing, coordinated research, and strengthened lines of communication.
Contact Dr. Carol Rubin via:
CDC Press Office
3. 3. Acute Toxoplasma gondii Infection among Family Members in the United States, , Despina G. Contopoulos-Ioannidis; Yvonne Maldonado and Jose G. Montoya
Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite found throughout the world. In the United States, this parasite infects around 30 million people. Fortunately, among those who are infected, a healthy immune system usually protects them from symptoms. However, for those who have weakened immune systems or are pregnant, toxoplasmosis can cause serious health problems (such as diseases of the nervous system and eyes in an unborn child of an infected pregnant woman). For this reason, researchers explored the likelihood that other family members might be infected when one person in a household has acute toxoplasmosis. They identified 32 such households where more than one family-member was tested in the National Reference Laboratory for Toxoplasmosis in the US over the past 20 years. They found that in just over half the households, someone other than the original patient was also recently infected. Thus, family members of patients with acute toxoplasmosis, especially those who have weakened immune systems or are pregnant, should be tested so that they can receive appropriate preventive care and/or treatment if needed.
Despina G. Contopoulos-Ioannidis
Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Stanford, CA
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