During November–December 2015, as part of the 2015 cholera outbreak response in Iraq, the Iraqi Ministry of Health targeted ≈255,000 displaced persons >1 year of age with 2 doses of oral cholera vaccine (OCV). All persons who received vaccines were living in selected refugee camps, internally displaced persons camps, and collective centers. We conducted a multistage cluster survey to obtain OCV coverage estimates in 10 governorates that were targeted during the campaign. In total, 1,226 household and 5,007 individual interviews were conducted.

Using national surveillance data for 120,111 human anthrax cases recorded during 1955−2014, we analyzed the temporal, seasonal, geographic, and demographic distribution of this disease in China. After 1978, incidence decreased until 2013, when it reached a low of 0.014 cases/100,000 population. The case-fatality rate, cumulatively 3.6% during the study period, has also decreased since 1990. Cases occurred throughout the year, peaking in August. Geographic distribution decreased overall from west to east, but the cumulative number of affected counties increased during 2005−2014.

Mayaro virus has been associated with small outbreaks in northern South America. We isolated this virus from a child with acute febrile illness in rural Haiti, confirming its role as a cause of mosquitoborne illness in the Caribbean region. The clinical presentation can mimic that of chikungunya, dengue, and Zika virus infections.

A third-stage (infective) larva of Dracunculus medinensis, the causative agent of Guinea worm disease, was recovered from a wild-caught Phrynobatrachus francisci frog in Chad. Although green frogs (Lithobates clamitans) have been experimentally infected with D. medinensis worms, our findings prove that frogs can serve as natural paratenic hosts.

Widespread use of oral poliovirus vaccine has led to an ≈99.9% decrease in global incidence of poliomyelitis (from ≈350,000 cases in 1988 to 74 cases in 2015) and eradication of wild-type poliovirus serotypes 2 and 3. However, patients with primary immunodeficiency might shed vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) for an extended period, which could pose a major threat to polio eradication programs. Since 1995, sixteen VDPV populations have been isolated from 14 patients with immunodeficiency in Iran.

Improving hand hygiene from high to very high compliance has not been documented to decrease healthcare-associated infections. The researchers conducted longitudinal analyses during 2013–2015 in an 853-bed hospital and observed a significantly increased hand hygiene compliance rate (p<0.001) and a significantly decreased healthcare-associated infection rate (p = 0.0066).

Original Source

The researchers analyzed data for a retrospective cohort of patients treated for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in 2 provinces in South Africa and compared predictors of treatment outcome in HIV-positive patients who received or had not received antiretroviral drugs with those for HIV-negative patients. Overall, 220 (62.0%) of 355 patients were HIV positive. After 2 years, 34 (10.3%) of 330 patients with a known HIV status and known outcome had a favorable outcome.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arthropodborne member of the genus Flavivirus of the Spondweni serocomplex and is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes (primarily Ae. aegypti in urban and periurban cycles). ZIKV emerged in Africa and has caused outbreaks of febrile disease that clinically resemble dengue fever and other arboviral diseases but has been linked to neurologic syndromes and congenital malformation.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N8) viruses were isolated from migratory waterfowl in South Korea during fall 2014–winter 2015, a recurrence after initial introduction in winter 2014. These reappeared viruses were phylogenetically distinct from isolates circulating in poultry farms in South Korea.

Original Source

Rapid sequencing of RNA/DNA from pathogen samples obtained during disease outbreaks provides critical scientific and public health information. However, challenges exist for exporting samples to laboratories or establishing conventional sequencers in remote outbreak regions. We successfully used a novel, pocket-sized nanopore sequencer at a field diagnostic laboratory in Liberia during the current Ebola virus outbreak.