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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Congenital Transmission of Chagas Disease — Virginia, 2010

Division of News & Electronic Media           

Diagnosis of congenital Chagas disease may be missed or delayed because of the lack of defining clinical features or because the diagnosis is not considered. A child was diagnosed with this infection at age 2 weeks when Trypanosoma cruzi parasites were seen in blood.  This is the first reported case of congenital Chagas disease in the United States.  The child was cured with benznidazole treatment.  Untreated Chagas disease is a life-long infection that can lead to severe cardiac disease.  It is acquired through contact with triatomine insects and other routes, including congenital transmission.  Migration from endemic areas in Latin America has led to an estimated 300,000 people in the United States with chronic Chagas.

2. Unexplained Respiratory Disease Outbreak (URDO) Working Group Activities —Worldwide, March 2007–September 2011

Division of News & Electronic Media           

Reducing delays in sample collection, epidemiologic investigations, and consultation with the Unexplained Respiratory Disease Outbreak (URDO) working group might increase the ability to identify etiologies and lead to more rapid outbreak control. The URDO is a multidisciplinary team comprised of approximately 40 experts in respiratory diseases from CDC. The URDO working group can assist local, state, and international public health officials in investigations of unexplained respiratory disease outbreaks. From March 2007 to September 2011, the URDO working group facilitated consultations with subject matter experts in 57 domestic and international investigations, laboratory testing at CDC in 42 investigations, and on-site field investigation support in eight investigations. An etiology was identified in 51 percent of investigations; common respiratory pathogens were implicated in most of the investigations. 

3. CDC Grand Rounds: the TB/HIV Syndemic

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention Media Line

Although tuberculosis (TB) control efforts around the world have had substantial success, TB remains a major public health problem, particularly among people living with HIV/AIDS (PWHA).  TB can be diagnosed and treated effectively but more must be done to reduce the global burden of disease.Of the seven billion people in the world, 2.3 billion are infected with the TB bacterium, and about nine million become sick and develop TB disease each year.  Around the world, more than 150 people die each hour from TB.  HIV-infected people are more likely to develop TB disease than others, and TB is responsible for one-quarter of all deaths among PWHA globally.  TB disease and death, even among PWHA, can be prevented by ensuring early diagnosis and treatment. The international TB control strategy known as “DOTS” aims to find and successfully treat as many highly-infectious people with TB as possible, and includes a component for standardized monitoring, evaluation, and reporting.  Since 1990, DOTS has saved more than seven million lives around the world.  However, full global implementation of DOTS alone will not be sufficient to eliminate TB as a public health problem.  Experts believe that additional key actions must be taken, including: 1) improving TB screening and diagnosis; 2) increasing the number of people treated for latent TB infection and extending the duration of treatment among PWHA; and 3) developing an effective TB vaccine, a shorter treatment regimen, and new diagnostic tests.


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