December 11, 2016

Elizabethkingia Bacteria Sickens 44 and Kills 18 in Wisconsin

Since November of 2015, there have been 44 bloodstream infections caused by Elizabethkingia anophelis bacteria reported to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Division of Public Health (DPH). Of the 44, 18 have died. Case patients reside in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Jefferson, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sauk, Washington and Waukesha counties. These laboratory-confirmed illnesses were reported to DHS between November 1, 2015 and March 2, 2016. Because this investigation is ongoing, case counts may change as additional illnesses are identified and more cases are confirmed. Most of the people sickened in this outbreak are over the age of 65, and all are patients with a history of at least one underlying serious illness. At this time, the source of these … [Read more...]

Skin Infections Reported From Handling Seafood in Chinatown

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is reporting that people are getting skin infections from handling live or raw fish or seafood at certain markets in Chinatown. The rare infections are caused by the Mycobacterium marinum. The bacteria enters the skin through a cut or scrape, or if someone cuts themselves while handling the raw fish. The Health Department has identified 30 cases of this infection so far. All of the patients say they handled live or raw fish or seafood purchased at markets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens before the problem started. Symptoms of the infection include red, tender swelling under the skin of hands and arms, difficulty moving fingers, and pain in the hand or arm. To prevent these infections, wear waterproof gloves when you handle … [Read more...]

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Cures Intestinal Infections

As gross as it may sound, an old method for treating dangerous intestinal infections is being studied. Research on fecal transplants done in the Netherlands was published in the New England Journal of Medicine┬áthis month. ┬áDoctors in the U.S. first tried this unorthodox treatment in 1958 to treat patients with life-threatening pseudomembranous enterocolitis (colitis). This unconventional treatment involves feces from a healthy donor transplanted into the intestines of patients with these serious infections. The study looked at sixteen people who had recurring infections of Clostridium difficile. After transplant, 15 of the 16 were cured. Among those with the same infection treated with antibiotics, only 3 of 13 and 4 of 13 patients were cured. The healthy bacteria from the donor feces … [Read more...]

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