November 2015

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 21, No. 11, November 2015

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the November 2015 issues of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature Ebola. The articles are embargoed until October 14, 2015, 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. Ebola in West Africa—CDC’s Role in Epidemic Detection, Control, and Prevention,  Thomas R. Frieden and Inger K. Damon

Since Ebola virus disease was identified in West Africa on March 23, 2014, CDC has undertaken the most intensive response in the agency’s history. If West Africa, and the world, had reacted sooner, faster, and more effectively, far fewer cases and deaths and much less social and economic disruption would have occurred. But even after this preventable and costly local and global delay, heroic efforts by clinicians and public health personnel and organizations from West Africa and throughout the world broke the cycle of infection and prevented many deaths. As of mid-2015, this response, conducted at great expense and individual risk, continues. To date, two main lessons have been learned. First, the ability of every country to quickly identify and respond to a health threat needs to be enhanced, including the need for hospital preparedness here in the United States. Second, the ability of the global community to respond rapidly to a country overwhelmed by an epidemic must be improved. This unprecedented epidemic highlights the worldwide need for stronger systems for disease tracking, response, and prevention.


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2. Coccidioidomycosis among Workers Constructing Solar Power Farms, California, USA, 2011–2014, Jason A. Wilken et al.

Coccidioidomycosis, also called Valley fever, is a fungal disease, contracted when fungal spores are inhaled. Disease severity can range from mild to fatal. Because these spores exist in soil, risk for infection is highest in dry, dusty areas, such as the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. In 2012, reports of coccidioidomycosis among several workers at the same worksite prompted an investigation into risk for construction workers on solar farms, which conduct dust-producing activities in very windy regions. Among 3,572 workers at two solar farms, 44 cases were identified. Even more cases might have gone undiagnosed. As solar farm construction in this region increases, additional workers will probably be exposed and infected unless steps are taken to promote greater awareness about this disease and to reduce exposure by limiting dust generation and providing respiratory protection.


California Department of Public Health
Anita Gore, Office of Public Affairs
Matt Conens

3. Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Children, United States, 1999–2012, Latania K. Logan et al.

CRE, which stands for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a type of bacteria that are difficult to treat because they are highly resistant to antibiotics. Infections are most common among patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings. Because few, if any, antibiotics are effective, these infections can be deadly (almost half of hospitalized patients with CRE bloodstream infections die).  In the United States, these infections are becoming more common, including among children.  A recent study of CRE infections among children found a major increase during 1999–2012, especially among children 1–5 years of age and children in intensive care units. One of the major increases was in CRE bloodstream infections, which have been known to cause more severe illness. However, despite the increase, CRE infections among children remain uncommon. Continued vigilance for CRE infections and initiation of the 4 CDC-recommended core actions to prevent antibiotic resistance ( should be emphasized for all patients, including children.


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