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MMWR
Synopsis for March 15, 2002

The MMWR is embargoed until 12 Noon, ET, Thursdays.

  1. Outbreak of Bacterial Conjunctivitis at a College — New Hampshire, January – March, 2002
  2. Update: Allograft-Associated Bacterial Infections — United States, 2002
  3. Chagas Disease After Organ Transplantation — United States, 2001
  4. Cat-Scratch Disease in Children — Texas, September 2000 – August 2001


Notices to Readers

  • Acquired Rifamycin Resistance in Persons with Advanced HIV Disease Being Treated for Active Tuberculosis with Intermittent Rifamycin-Based Regimens

Contact: CDC, National Center for HIV, STD
and TB Prevention
(404) 639–8895

  • National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23, 2002


  • Environmental health Information Resources Satellite Broadcast
No telebriefing is scheduled for March 14, 2002.

Synopsis for March 15, 2002

Outbreak of Bacterial Conjunctivitis at a College — New Hampshire, January – March, 2002

Preliminary results of a large outbreak of conjunctivitis on a college campus indicate that an uncommon strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae caused the outbreak.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Michael Martin, MD, MPH

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–4718
 

The strain is highly infectious and may be spread from person to person through contact with eye secretions, respiratory droplets, or hands of infected persons. Although the outbreak involved many students, none have been seriously ill. Steps can be taken to prevent further transmission of the bacteria. Hand washing will reduce transmission. Students who develop conjunctivitis should seek medical care. Health-care providers who see college students with conjunctivitis should suspect a bacterial etiology, consider obtaining cultures of eye secretions and treating with topical antibiotics, and ensure that standard infection-control practices are followed.

 

Update: Allograft-Associated Bacterial Infections — United States, 2002

As of March 11, 2002, CDC has received reports of 26 patients who acquired bacterial infections associated with implantation of musculoskeletal tissue allografts.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Division of Media Relations

CDC, Office of Communication
(404) 639–3286
 

An important way to reduce transmission and acquisition of infection arising from contaminated allografts is to develop and use tissue sterilization procedures that do not adversely affect the functioning of the tissue when transplanted into patients. If tissue cannot be sterilized, the processing and quality control methods used by the tissue processor should minimize the possibility of releasing contaminated tissue for clinical use. CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), tissue banks and orthopedic surgeons to enhance the safety of tissue allografts. Reduction in the transmission or acquisition of allograft-associated infections requires development and implementation of tissue sterilization procedures that do not adversely affect tissue function once the allografts are transplanted into patients.

 

Chagas Disease After Organ Transplantation — United States, 2001

Chagas disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Barbara L. Herwaldt, MD, MPH

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(770) 488–7772
 

Chagas disease following organ transplantation has occurred in Latin America, where Chagas disease is endemic, but it has not yet been reported in the United States. This report describes three cases in the United States of T. cruzi infection associated with transplantation of solid organs from the same donor. CDC will collaborate with U.S. organ transplant organizations to discuss whether to screen potential donors for T. cruzi infection and, if so, which donors to screen, how to screen, and what to do if the screening tests are positive. Organ transplantation saves lives, and the public should be encouraged to consider being organ donors. However, medical personnel should be aware that Chagas disease is one of the possible risks associated with organ transplantation.

 

Cat-Scratch Disease in Children — Texas, September 2000 – August 2001

Cat-Scratch Disease (CSD) is generally a mild illness that resolves within 4-8 weeks.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Mary Reynolds, PhD

CDC, National Center for Infectious Diseases
(404) 639–2375
 

CSD is a bacterial infection caused by Bartonella henselae, and s a relatively common and occasionally serious disease among adults and children. CSD occurs in persons of all ages, but most frequently affects children under the age of 10. People contract CSD mainly from engaging in rough-play with cats and kittens that harbor the bacteria. It is one of the most common causes of prolonged fever and painful lymph node swelling in children, and may lead to severe illnesses. A review of the medical records of 32 children evaluated for CSD during one year at one hospital (Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston) was performed. At this hospital, types of CSD observed included the following: fever and lymph node swelling (classic CSD) (20); prolonged fever without organ involvement (five); prolonged fever with liver-spleen involvement (four); encephalitis (one), fever with bone lesion (one), and endocarditis (one). Fourteen of the children were hospitalized.




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