October 2016

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 22, No. 10, October 2016

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the October 2016 issues of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature Disease Patterns. The articles are embargoed until September 14, 2016, 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. EID requests that, when possible, you include a live link to the article in your stories.

1. Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Associated with Live Poultry, United States, 1990-2014, Colin Basler et al.

While the popularity of backyard poultry flocks has increased in the United States, so has the number of live poultry-associated outbreaks of Salmonella infection in humans. Because a better understanding of the practices that contribute to this emerging public health issue is needed, researchers at CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases reviewed outbreak reports from the period 1990-2014 to describe the epidemiology of these outbreaks, examine changes in trends, and guide future prevention campaigns. A total of 53 such outbreaks documented during this period involved 2,630 illnesses, 387 hospitalizations, and 5 deaths. The findings indicate that poultry have been acquiring a new position in many households. Instead of being treated as production animals, they are increasingly being considered as household pets. Reported practices that put people at highest risk for infection include keeping poultry inside households (46% of cases) and kissing birds (13%). Prevention and control efforts could include interventions that target hatcheries, agricultural feed stores, health professionals, and consumers.

Contact:         CDC Press Office, media@cdc.gov or 404-639-3286.

2. Cat-Scratch Disease in the United States, 2005-2013, Christina A. Nelson et al.

Cat-scratch disease is caused by bacteria (Bartonella henselae) that are maintained and spread among cats by fleas. As the disease name indicates, the bacteria are transmitted to people by cat scratches and possibly cat bites. For some people, disease symptoms are limited to a swollen lymph node, but for others – especially those with weakened immune systems – the disease can be severe. The good news is that cat-scratch disease is mostly preventable. To estimate disease burden and determine who is most at risk and therefore would benefit most from prevention information, researchers examined insurance claims databases. The researchers estimated that 12,000 patients are diagnosed with cat-scratch disease and 500 patients are hospitalized for complications of cat-scratch disease each year. They found that most cat-scratch disease patients lived in the southern United States and were children 5-9 years of age. These findings indicate that clinicians should direct prevention education to families with cats and children, those who live in the south, and those with weakened immune systems. Prevention includes flea control for cats (to limit transfer of bacteria among cats), handwashing after contact with cats (to remove potentially infectious flea feces that could enter breaks in the skin), and limiting cats’ hunting (to limit their direct contact with the bacteria in other animals).

Contact:         CDC Press Office, media@cdc.gov or 404-639-3286.

3. Effect of Geography on the Analysis of Coccidioidomycosis-Associated Deaths, United States, Jason A. Noble et al.

Coccidioidomycosis is a serious and potentially fatal respiratory disease that infects people who inhale the spores of the fungi Coccidioides immitis or C. posadasii, which are commonly found in the deserts of the southwestern United States. In 2012, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles analyzed national mortality data to identify factors associated with death from coccidioidomycosis. However, the disease is common in only a few states, especially Arizona and California, and the racial/ethnic compositions of these states differ from that of the country as a whole.  For these reasons, other researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health modified the original analysis by restricting the analysis to Arizona and California. Nationally, coccidioidomycosis-related death rates were highest among Hispanics and Native Americans and lowest among African-Americans and Asians. In Arizona and California, they were highest among African Americans and lower among Native Americans and Hispanics than among non-Hispanic whites. Moreover, although the risk for death from coccidioidomycosis increased with age, death rates were higher among people in virtually all age groups in Arizona and California than in the United States as a whole.

Contact:         David Mogollon, Communications Coordinator, Department of Medicine, University of Arizona, dmogollon@deptofmed.arizona.edu or 520- 275-6931.


Page last reviewed: September 15, 2016