During 1995-1996, staff from the California departments of corrections and health services and local health departments investigated two outbreaks of drug-susceptible tuberculosis (TB). The outbreaks occurred in two state correctional institutions with dedicated HIV housing units. In each outbreak, all cases were linked by IS6110-based DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates. This report describes the investigations of both outbreaks; the findings indicated that M. tuberculosis can spread rapidly among HIV-infected inmates and be transmitted to their visitors and prison employees, with secondary spread to the community. (+info)
(2/11802) Role of schools in the transmission of measles in rural Senegal: implications for measles control in developing countries.
Patterns of measles transmission at school and at home were studied in 1995 in a rural area of Senegal with a high level of vaccination coverage. Among 209 case children with a median age of 8 years, there were no deaths, although the case fatality ratio has previously been 6-7% in this area. Forty percent of the case children had been vaccinated against measles; the proportion of vaccinated children was higher among secondary cases (47%) than among index cases (33%) (prevalence ratio = 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-1.76). Vaccinated index cases may have been less infectious than unvaccinated index cases, since they produced fewer clinical cases among exposed children (relative risk = 0.55, 95% CI 0.29-1.04). The secondary attack rate was lower in the schools than in the homes (relative risk = 0.31, 95% CI 0.20-0.49). The school outbreaks were protracted, with 4-5 generations of cases being seen in the two larger schools. Vaccine efficacy was found to be 57% (95% CI -23 to 85) in the schools and 74% (95% CI 62-82) in the residential compounds. Measles infection resulted in a mean of 3.8 days of absenteeism per case, though this did not appear to have an impact on the children's grades. Among the index cases, 56% of children were probably infected by neighbors in the community, and 7% were probably infected at health centers, 13% outside the community, and 24% in one of the three schools which had outbreaks during the epidemic. However, most of the school-related cases occurred at the beginning and therefore contributed to the general propagation of the epidemic. To prevent school outbreaks, it may be necessary to require vaccination prior to school entry and to revaccinate children in individual schools upon detection of cases of measles. Multidose measles vaccination schedules will be necessary to control measles in developing countries. (+info)
nvited commentary: vaccine failure or failure to vaccinate? (+info)
aning of vaccine-induced immunity: is it a problem in Africa? (+info)
(5/11802) Asthma visits to emergency rooms and soybean unloading in the harbors of Valencia and A Coruna, Spain.
Soybean unloading in the harbor of Barcelona, Spain, has been associated with large increases in the numbers of asthma patients treated in emergency departments between 1981 and 1987. In this study, the association between asthma and soybean unloading in two other Spanish cities, Valencia and A Coruna, was assessed. Asthma admissions were retrospectively identified for the period 1993-1995, and harbor activities were investigated in each location. Two approaches were used to assess the association between asthma and soybean unloading: One used unusual asthma days (days with an unusually high number of emergency room asthma visits) as an effect measure, and the other estimated the relative increase in the daily number of emergency room visits by autoregressive Poisson regression, adjusted for meteorologic variables, seasonality, and influenza incidence. No association between unusual asthma days and soya unloading was observed in either Valencia or A Coruna, except for one particular dock in Valencia. When the association between unloaded products and the daily number of emergency asthma visits was studied, a statistically significant association was observed for unloading of soya husk (relative risk = 1.50, 95% confidence interval 1.16-1.94) and soybeans (relative risk = 1.31, 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.59) in A Coruna. In Valencia, a statistical association was found only for the unloading of soybeans at two particular docks. Although these findings support the notion that asthma outbreaks are not a common hidden condition in most harbors where soybeans are unloaded, the weak associations reported are likely to be causal. Therefore, appropriate control measures should be implemented to avoid soybean dust emissions, particularly in harbors with populations living in the vicinity. (+info)
(6/11802) The European mesothelioma epidemic.
Projections for the period 1995-2029 suggest that the number of men dying from mesothelioma in Western Europe each year will almost double over the next 20 years, from 5000 in 1998 to about 9000 around 2018, and then decline, with a total of about a quarter of a million deaths over the next 35 years. The highest risk will be suffered by men born around 1945-50, of whom about 1 in 150 will die of mesothelioma. Asbestos use in Western Europe remained high until 1980, and substantial quantities are still used in several European countries. These projections are based on the fit of a simple age and birth cohort model to male pleural cancer mortality from 1970 to 1989 for six countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland) which together account for three-quarters of the population of Western Europe. The model was tested by comparing observed and predicted numbers of deaths for the period 1990-94. The ratio of mesothelioma to recorded pleural cancer mortality has been 1.6:1 in Britain but was assumed to be 1:1 in other countries. (+info)
(7/11802) A multistate, foodborne outbreak of hepatitis A. National Hepatitis A Investigation Team.
BACKGROUND: We investigated a large, foodborne outbreak of hepatitis A that occurred in February and March 1997 in Michigan and then extended the investigation to determine whether it was related to sporadic cases reported in other states among persons who had consumed frozen strawberries, the food suspected of causing the outbreak. METHODS: The cases of hepatitis A were serologically confirmed. Epidemiologic studies were conducted in the two states with sufficient numbers of cases, Michigan and Maine. Hepatitis A virus RNA detected in clinical specimens was sequenced to determine the relatedness of the virus from outbreak-related cases and other cases. RESULTS: A total of 213 cases of hepatitis A were reported from 23 schools in Michigan and 29 cases from 13 schools in Maine, with the median rate of attack ranging from 0.2 to 14 percent. Hepatitis A was associated with the consumption of frozen strawberries in a case-control study (odds ratio for the disease, 8.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.1 to 33) and a cohort study (relative risk of infection, 7.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 53) in Michigan and in a case-control study in Maine (odds ratio for infection, 3.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 14). The genetic sequences of viruses from 126 patients in Michigan and Maine were identical to one another and to those from 5 patients in Wisconsin and 7 patients in Arizona, all of whom attended schools where frozen strawberries from the same processor had been served, and to those in 2 patients from Louisiana, both of whom had consumed commercially prepared products containing frozen strawberries from the same processor. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a large outbreak of hepatitis A in Michigan that was associated with the consumption of frozen strawberries. We found apparently sporadic cases in other states that could be linked to the same source by viral genetic analysis. (+info)
(8/11802) A community outbreak of invasive and non-invasive group A beta-haemolytic streptococcal disease in a town in South Wales.
An increase in the incidence of invasive and non-invasive infections caused by group A beta-haemolytic streptococci (GAS) was noted in and around the town of Glynneath (population approx. 4000) in West Glamorgan, South Wales between 1 January and 30 June 1995. A total of 133 cases was ascertained with 127 (96%) occurring between 1 March and 30 June 1995. Six patients had invasive disease (one died) and all presented at the peak of the outbreak. There were 127 non-invasive cases of whom 7 were hospitalized. The outbreak was investigated to determine its extent and whether it was caused by a single M-serotype of GAS. Serotyping showed that 13 different M-serotypes were involved with the M1 serotype predominating. The overall incidence of GAS invasive disease in West Glamorgan (population 365,000) increased sevenfold from a crude incidence of 0.5/10(5) per year in 1994 to 3.5/10(5) per year in 1995, but fell back to 0.75/10(5) per year in 1996. Eighty-two (80%) out of 102 individuals affected by GAS replied to a health questionnaire; sore throat was the commonest symptom reported (97%). Thirty-nine of these index cases identified at least one other member of their household who had experienced similar symptoms. The interval between the onset of illness in members of a single household was 0-83 days with a mean of 22 days. The mean duration of illness was 13.5 days and 61% of patients were treated with penicillin V for a mean duration of 9.3 days. Twenty-one per cent of GAS isolates were erythromycin-resistant and the M4 and M6 serotypes were especially resistant to erythromycin (87.5 and 100% resistance, respectively). Penicillin V failed to eradicate GAS from the throats of 25% of assessable patients. In this community, an outbreak of non-invasive disease caused by GAS was linked in time and place with an outbreak of serious invasive disease. (+info)