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Posts Tagged ‘whooping cough Epidemic’

Whooping Cough Epidemic Declared in California

Posted by feww on June 15, 2014


3,458 reported cases, two infant deaths, prompt authorities to declare statewide Pertussis Epidemic in Calif.

The Golden State has reported 3,458 cases of the disease including two infant deaths, so far this year.  The figure is reportedly on track to reach or surpass the 9,163 cases reported in 2010—the last epidemic year.

California health authorities have declared a pertussis epidemic after a 20-folds increase in the number of infections was reported over that last two weeks. Statewide cases soared from about 90 per month to more than 800 since June 1, a two-week period.

Meantime, director of the California Department of Public Health has urged “all pregnant women to get vaccinated.” He has also urged “parents to vaccinate infants as soon as possible.”

Infants aged 12 months or younger face the greatest risk of illness or death from pertussis infection, said CDC.

What’s Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – sourced from CDC

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

These bacteria attach to the cilia (tiny, hair-like extensions) that line part of the upper respiratory system. The bacteria release toxins, which damage the cilia and cause inflammation (swelling).

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes which result in a “whooping” sound.

infannt diagnosed with pertussis
A female infant diagnosed as pertussis. Pertussis is a highly communicable, vaccine-preventable disease due to Bordetella pertussis, a gram-negative coccobacillus, lasting for many weeks and typically afflicts children with severe coughing, whooping, and posttussive vomiting.

Transmission [sourced from CDC]

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease found in humans and is spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. Many infants who get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents or caregivers who might not even know they are carrying the bacteria. Symptoms of pertussis usually develop within 7–10 days after being exposed, but sometimes not for as long as 6 weeks.

While pertussis vaccines are the most effective tool available to prevent this disease, no vaccine is 100% effective. If pertussis is circulating in the community, there is a chance that a fully vaccinated person, of any age, can catch this very contagious disease. For those vaccinated, the infection is usually less severe.

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Legionella Outbreak in Scotland: 1 Dead, 16 Critical

Posted by feww on June 6, 2012

The worst single outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland kills one, leaves 16 in critical condition

At least one person has died and 16 others are in a critical condition in hospital in the worst single outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Scotland.

A further 15 suspected cases of the illness are being investigated by the health authorities in Edinburgh, reports said.

The worst legionella outbreak in the UK occurred in 2002 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where at least 172 people were infected and seven died from the illness. It’s believed that a contaminated cooling tower was the source of that outbreak.

Legionella bacteria.  Legionnaires’ disease  is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. Each year, up to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S.  However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher. Legionnaires’ disease can have symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia, so it can be hard to diagnose at first. Signs of the disease can include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches. Chest X-rays are needed to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria, and other tests can be done on sputum (phlegm), as well as blood or urine to find evidence of the bacteria in the body. These symptoms usually begin up to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria.  Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 30% of cases.  Source CDC.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Florida, USA.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a 16 percent increase in tuberculosis (TB) cases in Duval County in the past year, making it the largest outbreak of TB in the U.S.
    • Most of the cases are reportedly among the homeless.
    • There were 85 cases of TB reported in Florida of which 67 were in Duval County.
  • Washington, USA.  Whooping cough epidemic in the state of Washington has so far surpassed 2,000 reported cases.
  • Utah and S. Dakota, USA.  Hantavirus, a rodent-borne disease has claimed at least 2 lives in the State of Utah and a thir in South Dakota.
    • “We get maybe one case a year,” Baker said Tuesday. “It’s unusual to see two fatalities so early in the summer.” Utah Department of Health epidemiologist JoDee Baker said.
    • The third victim, who died from the infection is SD was a 7-year-old girl.
    • In 2011, some 587 cases of the disease throughout the U.S. were reported to CDC, including 16 in S. Dakota.
    • The young girl’s death is the fifth in the state from hantavirus, so far this year, said the South Dakota Department of Health.
  • GlobalMulti-drug resistant Neisseria gonorrhea.  The numbers of sexually transmitted infections (STIs, STDs) have climbed to about 500 million new cases globally each year.  The STIs include Gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.
    •  Gonorrhea represents about a fifth (~ 100 million cases) of all STIs  annually.
    • A superbug strain of gonorrhea, first identified in Japan, which  is resistant to all recommended antibiotics, has spread to  many more countries around the globe, including Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the U.K., UN WHO reported.
    • The strain is found to be resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics, the last treatment option against gonorrhoea, WHO said.
    • “There are verified treatment failures to cefixime (oral cephalosporin) treatment in Japan and Norway as well as reports from China (Hong Kong SAR) and the United Kingdom. This emergence of decreased susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae to the ‘last line’ treatment option of cephalosporins together with AMR already shown to penicillins, sulphonamides, tetracyclines, quinolones and macrolides (including azithromycin) make N. gonorrhoeae a multidrug-resistant organism.” WHO reported.
    • “Antimicrobial resistance is caused by the unrestricted access to antimicrobials, overuse and poor quality of antibiotics, as well as natural genetic mutations within disease organisms. In addition, gonorrhoea strains tend to retain genetic resistance to previous antibiotics even after their use has been discontinued. The extent of this resistance worldwide is not known due to lack of reliable data for gonorrhoea in many countries and insufficient research”

Gonorrhea is a common sexually-transmitted disease (STD), caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. An electron micrograph of gonorrhea bacteria.  Image courtesy

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Washington State Declares Pertussis Outbreak an ‘Epidemic’

Posted by feww on May 22, 2012

Ten times more cases of Pertussis reported in 2012 than same period last year

Pertussis, aka whooping cough, is a highly infectious respiratory illness that can be deadly to young infants. The disease is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacterium, which spreads through coughing and sneezing [airborne droplets,] and has an incubation period of up to 14 days.

  • “There have been a total of 1,484 cases reported statewide through week 19, compared to 134 reported cases in 2011 during the same time period. Dates for the 2011/2012 comparison were based on LHJ notification date.” Washington State DOH reported.
  • Whooping cough affects about 50 million people globally each year and has a mortality rate of about 1 percent.

The overall incidence rate year to date is 22.0 pertussis cases per 100,000 Washington residents and the rate of disease in infants under one year of age, 114.1 per 100,000, remains higher than rates in all other age groups (see Table 2). This equates to an annualized overall rate of pertussis in Washington residents of 60.3 per 100,000 persons with a rate in infants of 312.2 per 100,000 should this trend continue throughout 2012. One hundred and one infants under one year of age were reported as having whooping cough and twenty-six of them were hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, twenty (77%) were very young (three months of age or younger).
Source: DOH 348-254 May 2012

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