January 2020

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Highlights: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 26, No. 1, January 2020

The articles of interest summarized below will appear in the January 2020 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. The articles are embargoed until December 18, 2019, at noon Eastern time.

Important Note: Not all articles that EID publishes represent work done at CDC or by CDC staff. In your stories, please clarify whether a study was conducted by CDC (“a CDC study”) or by another institution (“a study published by CDC in the EID journal”). 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 link directly to the actual journal article in your stories. Once the embargo lifts, this month’s articles will be found in this month’s articles will be found in the Early Release section of the EID website at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/early-release


1.     Paid Leave and Access to Telework as Work Attendance Determinants during Acute Respiratory Illness, United States, 2017–2018, Faruque Ahmed et al.

Each year in the United States, acute respiratory illnesses, including influenza, cost the economy billions of dollars. Substantial costs result from lost worker productivity (58%–69% during the first week of illness). Given the large proportion of U.S. adults who work outside the home, the spread of acute respiratory illness could be reduced if workers stayed home (thus minimizing workplace contacts) when sick. To determine whether having access to paid leave benefits and ability to telework were associated with staying away from the workplace when sick, researchers surveyed employed adults seeking care for acute respiratory illness with cough during the 2017–18 influenza season at more than 60 U.S. outpatient facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. They found that ill employees were more likely to refrain from coming to work if they had paid leave benefits and were actively encouraged by their employer to stay home. Access to telework, where feasible, helped retain some work productivity. The researchers concluded that social norms that encourage sick employees to stay home and explicitly discourage them from coming to work while sick, and policies that reduce the financial burden of staying home while sick, may play equally important roles in reducing the transmission of influenza.

Contact: CDC Media Relations; phone: 404-639-3286 or email: media@cdc.gov


2.   Risk Factors for and Seroprevalence of Tickborne Zoonotic Diseases among Livestock Owners, Kazakhstan, Jennifer R. Head et al.

Among infectious diseases of people, 66% are zoonotic (that is, acquired from animals). In southern Kazakhstan, zoonoses spread by ticks include Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Q fever, and Lyme disease. Knowing how many people have been exposed to the causative organisms (as determined by blood testing for seroprevalence) can help identify where the organisms are circulating and where humans are most at risk. To determine seroprevalence and risk factors in one region of Kazakhstan, researchers analyzed blood samples from and administered questionnaires to people who interacted with livestock. The questionnaires assessed knowledge of risk factors for CCHF transmission and how frequently participants engaged in activities that increase or reduce risk for infection. Seroprevalence results indicated that CCHF virus was circulating in areas not previously known to harbor the virus. Questionnaire results indicated that not many people recognized the role of livestock in disease transmission or wore personal protective equipment when performing high-risk activities. In response to those findings, researchers helped the health department revise educational pamphlets to describe which activities put people at high risk and which personal protective equipment people should wear during each activity, thereby translating their research findings into direct public health action.

Contact: CDC Media Relations; phone: 404-639-3286 or email: media@cdc.gov


3.     Nutritional Care for Patients with Ebola Virus Disease, Mija Ververs et al.

Good nutritional care is crucial for patients with critical illness such as Ebola virus disease. In 2014, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Food Program produced interim guidelines with recommendations for providing nutritional support to patients in Ebola treatment units. To summarize research findings and practices with regard to nutritional care for Ebola patients, researchers searched the online literature. They found that articles specifically about nutritional care for Ebola patients were limited and often lacked detailed descriptions of the actual care provided. Although the researchers had intended to compare actual nutritional care provided with that recommended in the 2014 guidelines, they instead found that the paucity of articles published after release of the 2014 guidelines on using the guidelines (only three articles) limited this comparison. As nutritional care for Ebola patients is poorly described, best practices for providing this care remain unknown. To expand the knowledge base and ultimately improve the nutritional care provided to this patient population, they recommend that researchers and practitioners in Ebola treatment units share the specific and practical details of their experiences in providing nutritional support to Ebola patients.

Contact: CDC Media Relations; phone: 404-639-3286 or email: media@cdc.gov

 

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Page last reviewed: December 19, 2019