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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of May 14, 2017


This week’s Top 5 articles focused around West Nile virus, HIV, and atopic dermatitis, among other topics. Firstly, as warmer weather moves into most parts of the country, states are seeing their first cases of West Nile virus infection in humans, and residents are urged to be vigilant about mosquito control and protection. In addition, an invasive serotype of Streptococcus pneumoniae has been found to be emerging, much to the alarm of healthcare officials.
More information continues to come to light about the HIV virus, including research we highlighted this week on the role extracellular vesicles play in virus transmission. Our second top article highlights the seemingly dark underbelly of bad hospital reporting practices, and our top article of the week draws attention to the large public health burden of atopic dermatitis and its surprising increase among the adult population.
Learn more about our top 5 articles of the week, below: 

#5: West Nile Virus Is Off to an Early Start This Season

With multiple states reporting their first cases of West Nile virus (WNV), health officials are noting an early start to the virus’s seasonal activity and reminding the public to partake in mosquito control efforts.
Although the majority of individuals who become infected with the virus do not experience any symptoms, those who do, oftentimes suffer through headaches, body aches, and rash, among other symptoms. More serious WNV infections can develop into neurological infections, such as encephalitis or meningitis. 
Tennessee and Texas are reporting early season cases of WNV in humans and therefore, officials are reminding residents to “use insect repellants, wear products using permethrin (an insecticide), and remove any standing water from their property.” This is particularly important in Texas, which saw “370 confirmed human cases and 18 related deaths” because of WNV in 2016. In addition, after heavy rains in parts of the state, California has reported detection of the virus in 3 dead birds, “1 each from San Mateo, Orange, and San Diego counties.” Residents are urged to try to avoid outdoor activities during times when mosquitoes are most active, such as dawn and dusk.
Learn more about the recent early-season cases of WNV in the United States, here.

#4: Pneumococcal Disease: Invasive Nonvaccine Serotype Emerges

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers have found concerning evidence of the emergence of an invasive serotype of Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-nonsusceptible serotype 35B IPD [invasive pneumococcal disease]. Their findings were published in a recent issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
According to researcher Sopio Chochua, MD, PhD, and colleagues, “the number of cases of IPD caused by strains of penicillin-nonsusceptible serotype 35B increased after the PCV7 [vaccine] was introduced in 2000, and increased even further after PCV13 was introduced ten years later.”
Conjugate vaccines have long provided protection against IPD; however, the “continued emergence of serotype 35B and its increasing number of clonal complexes highlights the need for wider-spectrum pneumococcal vaccines… [and] Protection against serotype 35B should be considered in next-generation pneumococcal vaccines.”
Read a more in-depth analysis of this study, here.

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