February 2016

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 22, No. 2, February 2016

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the February 2016 issues of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. This issue will feature Ebola. The articles are embargoed until January 13, 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.

1. Sustained Transmission of Pertussis in Vaccinated, 1– to 5-Year-Old Children in Preschool, Florida, USA, James Matthias et al.

Pertussis (also called whooping cough) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, the illness can become serious, especially in infants. The best way to prevent whooping cough is through vaccination. However, when whooping cough was diagnosed for a 1-year-old unvaccinated preschool attendee in Florida, subsequent investigation revealed that other children in the school, including vaccinated children, were also infected. For one classroom alone, nearly half the children had illness consistent with whooping cough, despite each student having been fully vaccinated. This outbreak raises concerns about vaccine effectiveness among preschool-age children. It also serves to alert doctors to consider whooping cough as a possible diagnosis for all patients with appropriate symptoms, even those who have been vaccinated.

Contact: Florida Department of Health
Office of Communications
email: NewsMedia@flhealth.gov 
phone: (850) 245-4111.

2. Frequency and Distribution of Rickettsiae, Borreliae, and Ehrlichiae Detected in Human-Parasitizing Ticks, Texas, USA, Elizabeth A. Mitchell et al.

Ticks carry a variety of microorganisms, many of which cause disease in people. Although research of tickborne infections usually focuses on geographic areas where these infections are common, research in areas where they are less common can also be helpful. Because Texas is one area where diagnoses of tickborne illness are relatively few, researchers examined ticks from Texas for 3 major tickborne organisms: rickettsiae, borreliae, and ehrlichiae. They found that almost one quarter (23%) of the ticks contained at least 1 of these 3 organisms, and some contained organisms for which is it is unknown whether or not they pose a risk to people. These findings indicate the value of continued monitoring in low-risk areas to identify potential emerging disease-causing organisms and vectors that could pose yet-unidentified threats to human health.

Contact: Michael S. Allen
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics via Jeff Carlton
Director of Media Relations,University of North Texas Health Science Center
phone: (817) 735-7630
email: Michael.Allen@unthsc.edu.


Page last reviewed: January 13, 2016