Summary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports from international healthcare facilities that Candida auris, an emerging multidrug-resistant (MDR) yeast, is causing invasive healthcare-associated infections with high mortality. Some strains of C. auris have elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to the three major classes of antifungals, severely limiting treatment options. C. auris requires specialized methods for identification and could be misidentified as another yeast when relying on traditional biochemical methods. CDC is aware of one isolate of C. auris that was detected in the United States in 2013 as part of ongoing surveillance. Experience outside the United States suggests that C. auris has high potential to cause outbreaks in healthcare facilities. Given the occurrence of C. auris in nine countries on four continents since 2009, CDC is alerting U.S. healthcare facilities to be on the lookout for C. auris in patients.
A strain of Aedes aegypti mosquitos feed from a membrane of blood in a research lab insectary in the Hanson Biomedical Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 17, 2016. Jeff Miller / University of Wisconsin-Madison
A batch of new studies show the Zika virus is trickier than it appeared at first glance, lurking for months in pregnant females and interfering with the immune system's response.
The findings help explain why the virus seems so mild in some people, yet causes devastating birth defects. And while the data suggests it is not going to be so easy to fight the epidemic, at least two studies offer some hope for a good, protective vaccine.
Brazil's microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery -- if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in other countries also hit hard by the virus? In Brazil, the microcephaly rate soared with more than 1,500 confirmed cases. But in Colombia, a recent study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases?
This version of the CDC Interim Zika Response Plan replaces the previous document posted on June 14, 2016. Notable updates include:
Revised guidance is included on the risk of Zika virus transmission, including the potential for sexual transmission both from men and women to sex partners.
When a case of locally acquired Zika virus infection is identified, state and local health departments should initiate interventions and target these interventions appropriately. Based on available epidemiologic, entomologic, and environmental information, states will define geographic areas for targeted Zika virus interventions.
The described continuum of preparedness to response has been condensed from 5 phases (0 to 4) to 4 phases (0 to 3). Transmission phases have been reorganized and renamed: “Suspect case of local transmission,” “Confirmed local transmission,” and “Confirmed multiperson local transmission.”
washingtonpost.com - by Lena H. Sun - June 16, 2016
Three women in the U.S. mainland infected with the Zika virus have delivered infants with birth defects and three others have lost or terminated pregnancies because their fetuses suffered brain damage from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The agency said it was not providing details about where the births occurred to protect the privacy of the women and children affected by the mosquito-borne virus. The information released Thursday is the first time the agency has provided a total number of Zika-related birth defects since the start of the U.S. response earlier this year.
Spatial distribution of simulated LAS spill-over events across its endemic region in western Africa for (a) present day, and (b) projected for 2070 under a medium climate and full land cover change scenario. Values represent the expected number of spill-over events per grid cell per year, and are represented on a linear color scale where green is all simulations and grey zero. Axis labels indicate degrees, in a World Geodetic System 84 projection. Filled black circles represent locations of historic LAS outbreaks. Credit: Redding et al. UCL
A model that predicts outbreaks of zoonotic diseases -- those originating in livestock or wildlife such as Ebola and Zika -- based on changes in climate, population growth and land use has been developed by a team of researchers.
A yellow fever outbreak was detected in Luanda, Angola late in December 2015. The first cases were confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa on 19 January 2016 and by the Institut Pasteur Dakar (IP-D) on 20 January. Subsequently, a rapid increase in the number of cases has been observed.
The Obama administration says it doesn’t expect the Zika virus to blanket whole states if and when mosquitoes begin to spread the virus on the U.S. mainland, though it wants state officials to map outbreaks so locals can protect themselves.
A mosquito is seen under a microscope at the Los Angeles County Vector Control District. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
washingtonpost.com - by Lena H. Sun - June 10, 2016
U.S. health officials plan to send a rapid-response team to any community on the mainland and in Hawaii where the mosquito-borne Zika virus begins to be transmitted locally — even if only a single case of infection is confirmed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is prepared to deploy experts to help state and local authorities in monitoring cases, performing laboratory tests and increasing mosquito control as part of a multilevel response plan. The teams of 10-15 people will go only if invited by the state.