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Synopsis for September 3, 2004
Cholera Epidemic Associated with Raw Vegetables ― Lusaka, Zambia, 2003-2004
Ancient diseases like cholera remain a threat for the developing world, and for people who travel to those areas. Simple measures like washing hands with soap, drinking only treated water, and eating foods that have been thoroughly washed and/or well-cooked protect against cholera and other foodborne and waterborne diseases.
Hand-washing with soap protected people against cholera in a recent outbreak in Zambia, according to a study by Zambian health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cholera is caused by contaminated food and water. Hand-washing with soap removes bacteria from the hands of those who sell and prepare food and thus minimizes contamination. In this outbreak of more than 4000 cases, people ill with cholera were 90% less likely to have hand soap in their homes than their well neighbors. Also in this study, those with cholera were almost five times more likely to have eaten raw vegetables. Safe food handling, hand-washing with soap, and drinking only treated water are practical methods for cholera prevention.
Suspension of Rotavirus Vaccine After Reports of Intussusception ― United States, 1999
When a potential vaccine reaction was discovered with the VAERS surveillance system, CDC engaged in decisive action to suspend the vaccine’s use and prevent future cases of RRV-TV related intussusception.
This report describes the emergency CDC response and follow-up investigations that identified and stopped the use of a vaccine found to cause a serious form of bowel obstruction called intussusception. A new vaccine was licensed in late 1998 to prevent severe complications of rotavirus diarrhea. On July 16 1999, CDC recommended suspending use of the rotavirus vaccine after 15 reports of intussusception in infants who received the vaccine were received by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a CDC and Food and Drug Administration vaccine safety surveillance system. No more reports of vaccine-related intussusceptions were received after July 16, 1999. CDC led surveillance activities and follow-up studies with state, local and federal partners that rapidly confirmed the association between the rotavirus vaccine and intussusception.
Outbreak of Aflatoxin Poisoning ― Eastern and Central Provinces, Kenya, January-July 2004
Widespread aflatoxin contamination of locally grown maize in Kenya linked to a large outbreak where early collaborative investigation efforts and urgent food replacement were critical to disease control.
A large outbreak of aflatoxin poisoning occurred in Eastern and Central Provinces, Kenya from January through July 2004. The investigation of this outbreak, lead by the Kenya Ministry of Health and partners including the Kenya Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization identified 317 cases and 125 deaths of aflatoxin poisoning. The poisoning was linked to the widespread aflatoxin contamination of locally grown maize which had been stored under damp conditions. Urgent replacement of the aflatoxin contaminated maize proved to be critical to disease control. Aflatoxins poisoning likely to continue to be a public health problem until culturally appropriate dry maize storage methods are implemented by the local population.
An Outbreak of Norovirus Gastroenteritis at a Swimming Club, Vermont, 2004
Appropriate pool maintenance guidelines and proper training of personnel are required to prevent and control outbreaks of swimming pool-associated illness.
Norovirus remains the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, causing an estimated 23 million cases each year. Outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis are propagated in many different ways including from person-to-person, via food and via water. However, swimming pool outbreaks are infrequently reported despite the potential for exposure of many people to fecally contaminated water. An outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis occurred among persons who visited a swimming facility and was determined to be caused by a combination of stool contamination, a blocked chlorine feed tube and multiple lapses of pool-maintenance procedures. Findings from the investigation highlight the need for appropriate guidelines to ensure pools are properly maintained.
West Nile Virus Activity ― United States,
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This page last reviewed September 2, 2004
Disease Control and Prevention