The Emerging Infections Network electronic mail conference and web page.
In February 1997, the Emerging Infections Network (EIN) established an electronic mail conference to facilitate discussions about emerging infectious diseases and related topics among its members and public health officials. Later that year, the EIN opened its section of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's home page. The EIN Web page was developed to give its members an alternative route for responding to EIN surveys and to facilitate rapid dispersal of EIN reports. The unrestricted portion of the site allows visitors access to information about the EIN and to published EIN reports on specific topics. For the most part, these are brief summaries or abstracts. In the restricted, password-protected portion of the EIN site, members can access the detailed, original reports from EIN queries and the comprehensive listings of member observations. Search functions in both portions of the EIN site enhance the retrieval of reports and observations on specific topics. (+info)
A plague on your city: observations from TOPOFF.
The United States Congress directed the Department of Justice to conduct an exercise engaging key personnel in the management of mock chemical, biological, or cyberterrorist attacks. The resulting exercise was called "TOPOFF," named for its engagement of top officials of the United States government. This article offers a number of medical and public health observations and lessons discovered during the bioterrorism component of the exercise. The TOPOFF exercise illuminated problematic issues of leadership and decision-making; the difficulties of prioritization and distribution of scarce resources; the crisis that contagious epidemics would cause in health care facilities; and the critical need to formulate sound principles of disease containment. These lessons should provoke consideration of future directions for bioterrorism planning and preparedness at all levels of government and among the many communities and practitioners with responsibilities for national security and public health. (+info)
New insights on the emergence of cholera in Latin America during 1991: the Peruvian experience.
After a century of absence, in late January 1991, Vibrio cholerae invaded the Western Hemisphere by way of Peru. Although a number of theories have been proposed, it is still not understood how that invasion took place. We reviewed the clinical records of persons attending hospital emergency departments in the major coastal cities of Peru from September through January of 1989/1990 and 1990/1991. We identified seven adults suffering from severe, watery diarrhea compatible with a clinical diagnosis of cholera during the four months preceding the cholera outbreak, but none during the previous year. The patients were scattered among five coastal cities along a 1,000 km coastline. We postulate that cholera vibrios, autochthonous to the aquatic environment, were present in multiple coastal locations, and resulted from environmental conditions that existed during an El Nino phenomenon. Once introduced into the coastal communities in concentrations large enough for human infection to occur, cholera spread by the well-known means of contaminated water and food. (+info)
Social ecosystem health: confronting the complexity and emergence of infectious diseases.
The emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases and their rapid dissemination worldwide are challenging national health systems, particularly in developing countries affected by extreme poverty and environmental degradation. The expectations that new vaccines and drugs and global surveillance would help reverse these trends have been frustrated thus far by the complexity of the epidemiological transition, despite promising prospects for the near future in biomolecular research and genetic engineering. This impasse raises crucial issues concerning conceptual frameworks supporting priority-setting, risk anticipation, and the transfer of science and technology's results to society. This article discusses these issues and the limitations of social and economic sciences on the one hand and ecology on the other as the main theoretical references of the health sciences in confronting the complexity of these issues on their own. The tension between these historically dissociated paradigms is discussed and a transdisciplinary approach is proposed, that of social ecosystem health, incorporating these distinct perspectives into a comprehensive framework. (+info)
Ticks and tickborne bacterial diseases in humans: an emerging infectious threat.
Ticks are currently considered to be second only to mosquitoes as vectors of human infectious diseases in the world. Each tick species has preferred environmental conditions and biotopes that determine the geographic distribution of the ticks and, consequently, the risk areas for tickborne diseases. This is particularly the case when ticks are vectors and reservoirs of the pathogens. Since the identification of Borrelia burgdorferi as the agent of Lyme disease in 1982, 15 ixodid-borne bacterial pathogens have been described throughout the world, including 8 rickettsiae, 3 ehrlichiae, and 4 species of the Borrelia burgdorferi complex. This article reviews and illustrate various aspects of the biology of ticks and the tickborne bacterial diseases (rickettsioses, ehrlichioses, Lyme disease, relapsing fever borrelioses, tularemia, Q fever), particularly those regarded as emerging diseases. Methods are described for the detection and isolation of bacteria from ticks and advice is given on how tick bites may be prevented and how clinicians should deal with patients who have been bitten by ticks. (+info)
Active bacterial core surveillance of the emerging infections program network.
Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several state health departments and universities participating in the Emerging Infections Program Network. ABCs conducts population-based active surveillance, collects isolates, and performs studies of invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, group A and group B Streptococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae for a population of 17 to 30 million. These pathogens caused an estimated 97,000 invasive cases, resulting in 10,000 deaths in the United States in 1998. Incidence rates of these pathogens are described. During 1998, 25% of invasive pneumococcal infections in ABCs areas were not susceptible to penicillin, and 13.3% were not susceptible to three classes of antibiotics. In 1998, early-onset group B streptococcal disease had declined by 65% over the previous 6 years. More information on ABCs is available at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/abcs. ABCs specimens will soon be available to researchers through an archive. (+info)
Emerging Chagas disease: trophic network and cycle of transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi from palm trees in the Amazon.
A trophic network involving molds, invertebrates, and vertebrates, ancestrally adapted to the palm tree (Attalaea phalerata) microhabitat, maintains enzootic Trypanosoma cruzi infections in the Amazonian county Paco do Lumiar, state of Maranhao, Brazil. We assessed seropositivity for T. cruzi infections in the human population of the county, searched in palm trees for the triatomines that harbor these infections, and gathered demographic, environmental, and socioeconomic data. Rhodnius pictipes and R. neglectus in palm-tree frond clefts or in houses were infected with T. cruzi (57% and 41%, respectively). Human blood was found in 6.8% of R. pictipes in houses, and 9 of 10 wild Didelphis marsupialis had virulent T. cruzi infections. Increasing human population density, rain forest deforestation, and human predation of local fauna are risk factors for human T. cruzi infections. (+info)
Campylobacter jejuni Infections: update on emerging issues and trends.
Infection with Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis worldwide; it occurs more frequently than do infections caused by Salmonella species, Shigella species, or Escherichia coli O157:H7. In developed countries, the incidence of Campylobacter jejuni infections peaks during infancy and again during early adulthood. Most infections are acquired by the consumption and handling of poultry. A typical case is characterized by diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Obtaining cultures of the organism from stool samples remains the best way to diagnose this infection. An alarming recent trend is the rapid emergence of antimicrobial agent--resistant Campylobacter strains all over the world. Use of antibiotics in animals used for food has accelerated this trend. It is fortunate that complications of C. jejuni infections are rare, and most patients do not require antibiotics. Guillain-Barre syndrome is now recognized as a post-infectious complication of C. jejuni infection, but its incidence is <1 per 1000 infections. Careful food preparation and cooking practices may prevent some Campylobacter infections. (+info)