Top Infectious Disease News of the Week—April 8, 2018
APR 13, 2018 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF
#5: Rare Cholera Outbreak Hits Vancouver Island, Canada
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Island Health are currently investigating a rare cholera outbreak on Vancouver Island, Canada, which has been linked with the consumption of herring eggs.
In a warning to the public on March 22, 2018, officials stated that 3 individuals were confirmed to have cholera, a water-borne disease that is usually acquired via the consumption of food or water contaminated with the bacteria Vibrio cholerae.
Although rare in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cholera cases have been on a steady climb globally since 2005. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 1.3 million to 4 million individuals fall ill with the disease each year, and about 21,000 to 143,000 die. In the last 5 years, WHO has reported only 7 cases in Canada.
#4: Microbiota-Based Therapy Shows Promise for C. difficile Sufferers
Despite all the good that they do, antibiotics can have some nasty side effects—namely, wiping out an individual’s beneficial gut bacteria along with the bad bugs. When this happens, a vulnerable person can contract Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. This infection, common among hospital patients—particularly elderly ones—causes profuse diarrhea and general gastrointestinal distress. The standard treatment is another antibiotic, usually vancomycin, fidaxomicin, or metronidazole.
However, roughly 1 in 5 patients see a return of their C. diff after taking antibiotics for it. The incidence of this recurrent infection is outpacing the number of primary C. diff infections. Because C. diff results in thousands of deaths per year and significant comorbidities such as bowel perforation and kidney failure, it’s imperative that the health care community come up with better, safer therapies for individuals with recurrent C. diff.
The new test can differentiate between Lyme disease and 7 other tick-borne diseases.
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