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EID News Synopsis for September 2009


The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.

Using Satellite Images of Environmental Changes to Predict Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Timothy E. Ford et al.

Nothing is larger in scale, has more potential for long-term effects, and is more uncertain than the effect of climate change on disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics. Climate change leads to rises in sea level, flooding, droughts, and forest fires, which can increase disease outbreaks and their impact on people’s health. Satellite imaging is being used to measure the things that contribute to climate change, such as changes in ocean sea surface temperature, sea level, vegetation, soil type, and soil moisture. Researchers hope that satellite imaging can be used to create an early warning system so we can plan for and possibly even prevent future outbreaks.

Contact via:
Kathleen Taggersell, Director of Marketing & Communications
University of New England, Biddeford, ME
207-602-2269 or

Chicken Consumption and Use of Acid-Suppressing Medications as Risk Factors for Campylobacter Enteritis, England

Clarence C. Tam et al.

What do eating chicken, taking antacids and getting a new dog have in common? A study in England has shown that they can all increase your risk for getting an intestinal infection called Campylobacter enteritis. However, if you eat chicken on a regular basis or have that dog for a long time, your risk may not be as high, perhaps because you may become immune over time.

Contact via:
Gemma Howe
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London or (011) 44 20 7927 2802

Trends in Hospital Admissions for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections, United States

Edelsberg et al.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is becoming a costly problem. Before the year 2000, MRSA skin infections acquired outside of healthcare settings were relatively rare. Now, they are a major public health problem. A study of United States data from 2000 through 2004 showed that during these five years, the number of people hospitalized for community-acquired MRSA infections increased by 29 percent. Reasons for this marked increase may be more resistance to the antibiotics that are prescribed for outpatients and more doctor awareness of the seriousness of these infections. Thus, doctors may be more likely to recommend aggressive approaches to the infections such as hospitalization.

Dr. Marcus Zervos
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI
(313) 673-9579

Backyard Raccoon Latrines and Risk for Baylisascaris Procyonis Transmission to Humans

Kristen Page et al.

Raccoons prefer to defecate in latrines they create . . . in your backyard. Although this practice may seem amazingly clean and sanitary to the raccoons, these latrines present a serious health hazard for people, especially children. Less than a teaspoon of raccoon feces can contain tens of thousands of eggs of a parasite that can invade a person’s brain and eyes, causing death or severe disease with permanent neurologic disability. Children can get this disease by playing in the dirt near raccoon latrines and then putting their hands in their mouths. Parents should remain vigilant and need to know how to keep raccoons out of their yards.

Dr. L. Kristen Page
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

Population-Based Surveillance for Hepatitis C Virus, United States, 2006–2007

Monina Klevens et al.

You can’t receive treatment if you don’t know you’re sick. This is a problem for the millions of people around the world who have hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection but no symptoms. Treatment and counseling can help these people, but first they have to be identified, and that can be difficult. A CDC study showed that in areas of the United States that have stepped-up tracking of this disease (enhanced surveillance), more people with HCV are found. And finding more people means treating more people and preventing the spread of HCV to others. Studies are needed to evaluate the cost-to-benefit value of these programs.

Contact via:
CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention News Media Line

Recent Ancestry of Kyasanur Forest Disease Virus

Rajeev Mehla et al.

What do viruses from India, Saudi Arabia and China have in common? If they are Kyasanur Forest disease viruses, they all came from the same ancestor. That means that one virus has spread among these countries, and relatively quickly. This virus was first recognized in 1957 in India. In 1989, it was found in China; and by 1994-1995, in Saudi Arabia. Despite the 38-year time difference and the almost 2,500-mile physical separation, the virus strains from India and Saudi Arabia are closely related. Experts know that this virus is carried by ticks, but don’t yet know how it made this long trip. The roles of deforestation, cattle, and migrating birds are being considered. Meanwhile, experts are on the lookout for future flare-ups of Kyasanur Forest disease in other regions.

Contact via:
CDC Division of Media Relations          

Role of Rhinovirus C in Apparently Life-Threatening Events in Infants, Spain

Cristina Calvo et al.

A newly discovered type of virus, rhinovirus C, which is related to the virus that causes the common cold, may lead to life-threatening events in infants. During these events the infant may gag, choke, turn blue, or stop breathing. These events are so frightening to the observer that the observer fears the infant has died. Doctors should be aware that this virus can trigger these life-threatening events.

Dr. Cristina Calvo
Hospital Severo Ochoa, Leganés, Madrid, Spain
+341 481 85 13 // +34628 991 809 or




  • Historical Document: August 2009
  • Content source: Office of the Associate Director for Communication
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