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Top 9 Infectious Disease Outbreaks of 2018

DEC 31, 2018 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF


These were the Top 9 Infectious Disease Outbreaks of 2018.

#9: The US Food and Drug Administration continues to monitor an increase in cases of acute flaccid myelitis that sprang up across the United States. As of December 14, 165 cases of AFM have been confirmed in 36 states.

#8: In 2018, South Africa continued to battle the nation’s largest listeria outbreak which sickened 1,600 people and claimed the lives of 216 individuals. The outbreak, which was linked to ready-to-eat sausage products, was resolved in June.

#7: A cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, which began in September, led the Ministry of Health to declare a state of emergency. The most recent case counts include 8340 infections and 50 deaths.

#6: Health officials in 28 US states continue to investigate an E coli outbreak linked to ground beef, which sickened more than 330 people and led to a recall of more than 12 million pounds of ground beef as of December 12. 

#5: Between May and July, 511 individuals were sickened with Cyclospora in 16 states. The traceback investigation linked the outbreak to Fresh Express Salads sold at fast food establishments.

#4: The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control continues to track measles cases throughout the European Union and European Economic Area. A total of 9189 cases of infection have been confirmed so far, with Greece, France, and Italy reporting the highest number of cases.

#3: Ebola reappeared in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August, primarily impacting individuals in the North Kivu Province. More than 500 cases have been confirmed, making this the second largest Ebola outbreak in world history.

#2: Hepatitis A outbreaks ran rampant in the United States this year. Fourteen states are currently experiencing outbreaks with Kentucky reporting the most infections with more than 3000 cases. 

And the top outbreak of the year?

A large E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce remains under investigation by US and Canadian health agencies. The outbreak was first announced in November, when the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised all Americans to avoid eating any romaine. The initial outbreak investigation has identified a Santa Barbara, California, farm as one source of the outbreak, but investigators expect more sources to be identified. The latest case counts from the CDC include 59 cases across 23 US states.
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