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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 17, No. 12, (December 2011)


The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the December 2011 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC's monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature zoonotic diseases. The articles are embargoed until November 16, 2011, at 12 p.m. EDT.

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.

1. Bat Rabies and Human Postexposure Prophylaxis, New York, USA, Millicent Eidson et al.

“Bat in the bedroom!” may sound far-fetched, but it’s actually one of the most common sources of bat exposure. Bat encounters in general are fairly common. To improve public safety, more than a decade ago national recommendations for managing bat-related rabies exposures changed to include situations where a bat bite may not be obvious. The New York State Department of Health began tracking rabies exposures and has shown that, since the national recommendations changed, there has been a large increase in the number of exposures reported, bats submitted for testing, and people receiving treatment. Of the New York bats tested, 3.4 percent had rabies. More capture and testing of bats is needed to avoid unnecessary preventive treatment of people exposed to non-infected bats.

Contact Millicent Eidson via:
New York State Department of Health Press Office
(518) 474-7354, ext. 1

2. Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Imported into the Netherlands, 2010, Julia E. Brown, et al.

Aedes aegypti are among the world’s most dangerous mosquitoes. Increases in commerce and travel have complicated the control of these mosquitoes because they facilitate spread of the mosquitoes to areas outside their normal habitat. To protect against the viruses these mosquitoes can carry (such as dengue and yellow fever viruses), we need to know where the mosquitoes come from and how they are being transported. Typically, they are found in tropical or subtropical climates, so their appearance in two tire yards in the Netherlands in 2010 was quite surprising. Using genetic markers, researchers traced the origin of the mosquitoes in the Netherlands to a tire shipment from Miami, Fla., where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are more common.

Julia E. Brown
Yale University, New Haven, CT

3. Changing Perception of Avian Influenza Risk, Hong Kong, 2006–2010, Qiuyan Liao et al and Knowledge of Avian Influenza (H5N1) among Poultry Workers, Hong Kong, China, Jean H. Kim et al.

Although avian influenza (H1N1), or bird flu, might not be getting as much attention since the first cases were found in Hong Kong in 1997, it hasn’t gone away and still infects and kills dozens of people every year.  Researchers remained concerned about its potential to cause a large-scale, global outbreak. Because Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated places, people living there are at high risk for a rapidly spreading outbreak, particularly because wholesale markets selling live poultry are common. Do people in Hong Kong still perceive that they are at risk for bird flu, and are they taking the right steps to prevent it? One study surveyed Hong Kong residents over time and found that people are less worried about buying live poultry and about coming down with bird flu. These changes in perception of risk were associated with a decline in hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes, both of which help prevent flu infections. A second study focused on poultry workers in Hong Kong and found a low level of knowledge about bird flu.  Although many workers knew the symptoms, they were less likely to know how the disease is spread and how deadly it is. They also reported moderate to low levels of hand hygiene and other preventive measures.

Changing Perception of Avian Influenza Risk, Hong Kong, 2006–2010:
Richard Fielding
School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong

Knowledge of Avian Influenza (H5N1) among Poultry Workers, Hong Kong, China:
Fung Kuk Lo
School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong



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