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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles Month of October 2017

NOV 03, 2017 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
#5: Nearly 10% of Americans with Candidemia have Clostridium difficile Co-infection

A survey of Americans hospitalized for treatment of candidemia has revealed the presence of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) co-infection in almost 10% of the cases.

Infections caused by C. difficile and Candida species are important healthcare-associated infections. A multistate survey carried out in 2014 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported C. difficile and Candida in 61 of 504 (12.1%) and 32 of 504 (6.3%) infections, with C. difficile responsible for 70% of all recorded gastrointestinal infections and Candida responsible for 22% of all bloodstream infections. Both infections carry a high mortality rate.

The root of Candida-C. difficile co-infections is antibiotic pressure. Disruption of the gut flora can lead to decreased immunity, which promotes colonization by Candida and the presence of the microbe in the blood (candidemia). C. difficile can also take advantage of the altered gut flora to establish an infection. The 2 infections often occur separately, but they can co-exist. How often that occurs is unclear.

Continue reading about the incidence of C. difficile in patients with candidemia.

#4: Threat of Zika Virus Still Looms in Southern States

On October 12, 2017, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a case of locally-transmitted Zika virus in the state. This new case adds to the growing total of travel-related and undetermined cases in Florida, bringing the grand total to 188 statewide cases. The Manatee County case is believed to be an isolated case and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state there is no evidence to support active and ongoing transmission of the Zika virus.

According to the Florida DOH, this case involves a couple who had traveled to Cuba. One partner acquired the Zika virus in Cuba and returned home. Once home, a mosquito bit the infected partner and then bit the uninfected partner, transferring the virus to the other partner.

This incident underscores the need for individuals who have traveled to Zika-endemic areas to take the necessary steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes for at least 3 weeks when they return to the United States, according to the Florida DOH. This will help stave off the chance of spreading the virus to the community and an individual’s loved ones and friends. Precautions should be made on a personal level and in the environment. The mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water, and so the Florida DOH is reminding residents to “drain all sources of standing water to keep mosquitoes from multiplying.” In addition, residents and visitors should remain vigilant about using insect repellent throughout the day and night to prevent bites.

Read more about Zika in southern states.


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