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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: EID, Vol. 17, No. 8 (August 2011)


The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the August 2011 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC's monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature emerging viruses. The articles are embargoed until Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at 12:00pm ET.

Note: The EID journal publishes articles by scientists around the world, as well as CDC scientists. To correctly describe CDC's role, please clarify in your story whether a study was conducted by CDC or was conducted by the author's institution and published in CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.

1. Dengue Virus Infection in Africa

A. Amarasinghe, et al.

Dengue, which used to be present only in certain parts of the world, has now become a public health problem worldwide. In Africa, all the ingredients for dengue virus transmission—the right mosquitoes, rapid population growth, and increased international travel—are present. Although dengue is not considered endemic to the area, more of the disease may be present in Africa than we know. Diagnoses of dengue are more common among travelers returning from Africa than among the local population, which suggests that some local cases may be going undiagnosed. This may be due to lack of physician awareness, diagnostic facilities, and surveillance or because dengue is often misdiagnosed as malaria. Expanded dengue surveillance would determine the true extent of the disease in Africa and provide information that would be very useful when a vaccine becomes available.

Ananda Amarasinghe, MD
Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Korea
+94 711-402-811

2. Novel Arenavirus Infection in Humans, United States

M. L. Milazzo, et al.

A North American arenavirus related to rodent-borne arenaviruses known to cause severe human illness with fever in South America has been associated with similar illness in the United States. Testing of blood and spinal fluid from patients in the United States with sudden onset of central nervous system symptoms or fever of unknown cause has now found evidence of this arenavirus. The North American virus is primarily associated with woodrats.

Charles F. Fulhorst
University of Texas Medical Branch,
Galveston, TX
(409) 772-9713

3. Incidence of Acute Gastroenteritis and Role of Norovirus, Georgia, USA, 2004–2005

A.J. Hall, et al.

Approximately 179 million cases of acute gastroenteritis—sudden onset of diarrhea and vomiting—occur each year in the United States, resulting in about 600,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. The exact cause of the disease is known for only 20 percent of these cases – largely due to the lack of diagnostic tests available in clinical settings. This study found that noroviruses are the leading causes of acute gastroenteritis among people of all ages seeking medical care. Recognition of the leading role of noroviruses in causing acute gastroenteritis and the development and widespread use of diagnostic tests can help improve diagnosis, inform care of patients, and prevent disease.

Contact Aron J. Hall via:
CDC Press Office

4. Novel GII.12 Norovirus Strain, United States, 2009–2010

E. Vega and J. Vinjé

In the United States, norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne gastrointestinal illness (vomiting and diarrhea). For the past decade, most norovirus outbreaks have been caused by strains from genotype GII.4. But in the winter of 2009–10, a new GII.12 strain suddenly emerged and caused a large number of norovirus outbreaks. New strains are of concern because they may spread more easily than current strains because of a lack of immunity in the population.

Contact Everardo Vega via:
CDC Press Office

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.


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