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Volume 19, Number 2—February 2013

Volume 19, Number 2—February 2013   PDF Version [PDF - 8.69 MB - 175 pages]


  • Rift Valley Fever and a New Paradigm of Research and Development for Zoonotic Disease Control PDF Version [PDF - 554 KB - 5 pages]
    O. Dar et al.
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    To control this disease, funding and research should be prioritized on the basis of determined needs.

       View Abstract

    Although Rift Valley fever is a disease that, through its wider societal effects, disproportionately affects vulnerable communities with poor resilience to economic and environmental challenge, Rift Valley fever virus has since its discovery in 1931 been neglected by major global donors and disease control programs. We describe recent outbreaks affecting humans and animals and discuss the serious socioeconomic effects on the communities affected and the slow pace of development of new vaccines. We also discuss the mixed global response, which has largely been fueled by the classification of the virus as a potential bioterrorism agent and its potential to migrate beyond its traditional eastern African boundaries. We argue for a refocus of strategy with increased global collaboration and a greater sense of urgency and investment that focuses on an equity-based approach in which funding and research are prioritized by need, inspired by principles of equity and social justice.


  • Medscape CME Activity
    Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Children, Massachusetts and New Hampshire,USA, 1970–2010 PDF Version [PDF - 2.48 MB - 9 pages]
    M. A. Silverman et al.
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    A short prodrome in children is associated with more severe disease and increased risk for death.

       View Abstract

    We describe the clinical, laboratory, and radiographic characteristics of 15 cases of eastern equine encephalitis in children during 1970–2010. The most common clinical and laboratory features were fever, headache, seizures, peripheral leukocytosis, and cerebrospinal fluid neutrophilic pleocytosis. Radiographic lesions were found in the basal ganglia, thalami, and cerebral cortex. Clinical outcomes included severe neurologic deficits in 5 (33%) patients, death of 4 (27%), full recovery of 4 (27%), and mild neurologic deficits in 2 (13%). We identify an association between a short prodrome and an increased risk for death or for severe disease.

  • Lessons and Challenges for Measles Control from Unexpected Large Outbreak, Malawi PDF Version [PDF - 791 KB - 8 pages]
    A. Minetti et al.
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    Supplementary immunization activities are crucial to reduce the number of susceptible children.

       View Abstract

    Despite high reported coverage for routine and supplementary immunization, in 2010 in Malawi, a large measles outbreak occurred that comprised 134,000 cases and 304 deaths. Although the highest attack rates were for young children (2.3%, 7.6%, and 4.5% for children <6, 6–8, and 9–11 months, respectively), persons >15 years of age were highly affected (1.0% and 0.4% for persons 15–19 and >19 years, respectively; 28% of all cases). A survey in 8 districts showed routine coverage of 95.0% for children 12–23 months; 57.9% for children 9–11 months; and 60.7% for children covered during the last supplementary immunization activities in 2008. Vaccine effectiveness was 83.9% for 1 dose and 90.5% for 2 doses. A continuous accumulation of susceptible persons during the past decade probably accounts for this outbreak. Countries en route to measles elimination, such as Malawi, should improve outbreak preparedness. Timeliness and the population chosen are crucial elements for reactive campaigns.

  • Nipah Virus Infection Outbreak with Nosocomial and Corpse-to-Human Transmission, Bangladesh PDF Version [PDF - 881 KB - 8 pages]
    H. Sazzad et al.
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    Particularly vulnerable are health care workers who do not use personal protective equipment and persons who do not wash hands after traditional burial practices.

       View Abstract

    Active Nipah virus encephalitis surveillance identified an encephalitis cluster and sporadic cases in Faridpur, Bangladesh, in January 2010. We identified 16 case-patients; 14 of these patients died. For 1 case-patient, the only known exposure was hugging a deceased patient with a probable case, while another case-patient’s exposure involved preparing the same corpse for burial by removing oral secretions and anogenital excreta with a cloth and bare hands. Among 7 persons with confirmed sporadic cases, 6 died, including a physician who had physically examined encephalitis patients without gloves or a mask. Nipah virus–infected patients were more likely than community-based controls to report drinking raw date palm sap and to have had physical contact with an encephalitis patient (29% vs. 4%, matched odds ratio undefined). Efforts to prevent transmission should focus on reducing caregivers’ exposure to infected patients’ bodily secretions during care and traditional burial practices.


  • Medscape CME Activity
    Laboratory-based Surveillance for Hepatitis E Virus Infection, United States, 2005–2012 PDF Version [PDF - 635 KB - 6 pages]
    J. Drobeniuc et al.
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    Clinicians should consider this virus in the differential diagnosis of hepatitis, regardless of patient travel history.

       View Abstract

    To investigate characteristics of hepatitis E cases in the United States, we tested samples from persons seronegative for acute hepatitis A and B whose clinical specimens were referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during June 2005–March 2012 for hepatitis E virus (HEV) testing. We found that 26 (17%) of 154 persons tested had hepatitis E. Of these, 15 had not recently traveled abroad (nontravelers), and 11 had (travelers). Compared with travelers, nontravelers were older (median 61 vs. 32 years of age) and more likely to be anicteric (53% vs. 8%); the nontraveler group also had fewer persons of South Asian ethnicity (7% vs. 73%) and more solid-organ transplant recipients (47% vs. 0). HEV genotype 3 was characterized from 8 nontravelers and genotypes 1 or 4 from 4 travelers. Clinicians should consider HEV infection in the differential diagnosis of hepatitis, regardless of patient travel history.

  • Severe Lower Respiratory Tract Infection in Early Infancy and Pneumonia Hospitalizations among Children, Kenya PDF Version [PDF - 467 KB - 7 pages]
    P. Munywoki et al.
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    Close postdischarge follow-up could help prevent future severe respiratory disease.

       View Abstract

    Severe lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in infants caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been associated with later pneumonia hospitalization among children. To determine risk for pneumonia after RSV hospitalization in infancy, we conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of 2,813 infants admitted to a hospital in Kenya and identified readmissions for pneumonia among this group during early childhood (<60 months of age). Incidence of readmission for pneumonia was higher for children whose first admission as infants was for LRTI and who were <3 months of age than for children who were first admitted as infants for non-LRTI, irrespective of RSV status. Incidence of readmission for pneumonia with wheeze was higher for children whose first admission involved RSV compared with those who had non-RSV LRTI. Excess pneumonia risk persisted for 2 years after the initial hospitalization. Close postdischarge follow-up of infants with LRTI, with or without RSV, could help prevent severe pneumonia later in childhood.

  • Plague Outbreak in Libya, 2009, Unrelated to Plague in Algeria PDF Version [PDF - 3.25 MB - 7 pages]
    N. Cabanel et al.
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    Neighboring but independent (unlinked) plague foci coexist in Algeria and Libya.

    Plague Outbreak in Libya, 2009

       View Abstract

    After 25 years of no cases of plague, this disease recurred near Tobruk, Libya, in 2009. An epidemiologic investigation identified 5 confirmed cases. We determined ribotypes, Not1 restriction profiles, and IS100 and IS1541 hybridization patterns of strains isolated during this outbreak. We also analyzed strains isolated during the 2003 plague epidemic in Algeria to determine whether there were epidemiologic links between the 2 events. Our results demonstrate unambiguously that neighboring but independent plague foci coexist in Algeria and Libya. They also indicate that these outbreaks were most likely caused by reactivation of organisms in local or regional foci believed to be dormant (Libya) or extinct (Algeria) for decades, rather than by recent importation of Yersinia pestis from distant foci. Environmental factors favorable for plague reemergence might exist in this area and lead to reactivation of organisms in other ancient foci.

  • Phylogenetic and Ecologic Perspectives of a Monkeypox Outbreak, Southern Sudan, 2005 PDF Version [PDF - 1.56 MB - 9 pages]
    Y. Nakazawa et al.
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    Identification of human monkeypox cases during 2005 in southern Sudan (now South Sudan) raised several questions about the natural history of monkeypox virus (MPXV) in Africa. The outbreak area, characterized by seasonally dry riverine grasslands, is not identified as environmentally suitable for MPXV transmission. We examined possible origins of this outbreak by performing phylogenetic analysis of genome sequences of MPXV isolates from the outbreak in Sudan and from differing localities. We also compared the environmental suitability of study localities for monkeypox transmission. Phylogenetically, the viruses isolated from Sudan outbreak specimens belong to a clade identified in the Congo Basin. This finding, added to the political instability of the area during the time of the outbreak, supports the hypothesis of importation by infected animals or humans entering Sudan from the Congo Basin, and person-to-person transmission of virus, rather than transmission of indigenous virus from infected animals to humans.

  • Rift Valley Fever, Sudan, 2007 and 2010 PDF Version [PDF - 1.05 MB - 8 pages]
    I. E. Aradaib et al.
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    Viral sequences analyzed indicate recent virus movement and support the need for surveillance.

       View Abstract

    To elucidate whether Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) diversity in Sudan resulted from multiple introductions or from acquired changes over time from 1 introduction event, we generated complete genome sequences from RVFV strains detected during the 2007 and 2010 outbreaks. Phylogenetic analyses of small, medium, and large RNA segment sequences indicated several genetic RVFV variants were circulating in Sudan, which all grouped into Kenya-1 or Kenya-2 sublineages from the 2006–2008 eastern Africa epizootic. Bayesian analysis of sequence differences estimated that diversity among the 2007 and 2010 Sudan RVFV variants shared a most recent common ancestor circa 1996. The data suggest multiple introductions of RVFV into Sudan as part of sweeping epizootics from eastern Africa. The sequences indicate recent movement of RVFV and support the need for surveillance to recognize when and where RVFV circulates between epidemics, which can make data from prediction tools easier to interpret and preventive measures easier to direct toward high-risk areas.

Historical Review

  • Lessons from the History of Quarantine, from Plague to Influenza A PDF Version [PDF - 1.94 MB - 6 pages]
    E. Tognotti
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    The complex and controversial history of this centuries-old public health strategy offers guidance for its future use.

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    In the new millennium, the centuries-old strategy of quarantine is becoming a powerful component of the public health response to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. During the 2003 pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, the use of quarantine, border controls, contact tracing, and surveillance proved effective in containing the global threat in just over 3 months. For centuries, these practices have been the cornerstone of organized responses to infectious disease outbreaks. However, the use of quarantine and other measures for controlling epidemic diseases has always been controversial because such strategies raise political, ethical, and socioeconomic issues and require a careful balance between public interest and individual rights. In a globalized world that is becoming ever more vulnerable to communicable diseases, a historical perspective can help clarify the use and implications of a still-valid public health strategy.



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