Latest News from CORHA

Mycobacterium abscessus Cluster in Cardiac Surgery Patients Potentially Attributable to a Commercial Water Purification System (Annals of Internal Medicine)

Nontuberculous mycobacteria are water-avid pathogens that are associated with nosocomial infections. This descriptive study aimed to analyze and mitigate a cluster of Mycobacterium abscessus infections in four cardiac surgery patients in Boston, Massachusetts. Commonalities among cases were sought, potential sources were cultured, patient and environmental specimens were sequenced, and possible sources were abated.
April 19, 2023 Read More

Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Nursing Homes during Periods of Delta and Omicron Predominance, United States, July 2021–March 2022 (Emerging Infectious Diseases)

SARS-CoV-2 infections among vaccinated nursing home residents increased after the Omicron variant emerged. Data on booster dose effectiveness in this population are limited. During July 2021–March 2022, nursing home outbreaks in 11 US jurisdictions involving >3 infections within 14 days among residents who had received at least the primary COVID-19 vaccine(s) were monitored. Among 2,188 nursing homes, 1,247 outbreaks were reported in the periods of Delta, mixed Delta/Omicron, and Omicron predominance. During the Omicron-predominant period, the risk for infection within 14 days of an outbreak start was lower among boosted residents than among residents who had received the primary vaccine series alone. Once infected, boosted residents were at lower risk for all-cause hospitalization and death than primary vaccine–only residents.
March 29, 2023 Read More

New Toolkit Details Ways to Control Group A Streptococcus in Long-Term Care Facilities (CDC)

CDC has released new tools to guide effective investigations into group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Targeted to public health departments and LTCFs, including skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, the toolkit encourages an investigation into even a single case of invasive GAS infection. The toolkit also offers strategies to ramp up the response if additional cases occur.
March 22, 2023 Read More

Extending outbreak investigation with machine learning and graph theory: Benefits of new tools with application to a nosocomial outbreak of a multidrug-resistant organism (Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology)

From January 1, 2018, until July 31, 2020, a hospital network in Switzerland experienced an outbreak of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). The goal of their study was to improve existing processes by applying machine-learning and graph-theoretical methods to a nosocomial outbreak investigation. Risk factors for being a VRE carrier were identified, along with 3 important links with VRE (healthcare personnel, medical devices, patient rooms). The author concludes that data science is likely to provide a better understanding of outbreaks, but interpretations require data maturity, and potential confounding factors must be considered.
March 7, 2023 Read More

Nosocomial transmission of MPOX virus to health care workers –an emerging occupational hazard: A case report and review of the literature (American Journal of Infection Control)

A case of monkeypox (MPOX) virus transmission to a dermatology resident is described, which occurred during examination of affected patients. Viral DNA sequencing led to the identification of the most likely contact. A review of all cases published in the literature of Mpox transmission from a patient to a healthcare worker is conducted, which identified 6 additional cases.
March 1, 2023 Read More

Prolonged silent carriage, genomic virulence potential and transmission between staff and patients characterize a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology)

An outbreak of MRSA in a NICU was investigated in California. Healthcare personnel were identified as a potential key link in transmission and colonization. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) further identified circulation of a highly virulent outbreak strain for at least 7 months prior to outbreak recognition.
February 15, 2023 Read More

Regional outbreak of multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase–producing Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology)

An outbreak of KPC-CRPA was investigated in Texas. Four initial cases of KPC-CRPA were identified from different healthcare facilities through surveillance of clinical isolates. Further investigation uncovered 13 additional cases at 3 healthcare facilities. Lapses in infection control practices at each facility were noted, suggesting indirect patient-to-patient transmission through contaminated healthcare workers or medical equipment.
February 8, 2023 Read More

Controlling an Emerging Fungal Threat: The Partners for Patient Safety Program (Public Health Insider)

This article describes a new program underway in King County aimed at early identification of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), with the goal of mitigating their spread in healthcare settings including those that serve the most vulnerable. A key project goal is to implement a surveillance system to identify and mitigate the spread of an emerging, often multi-drug resistant fungus called Candida auris or C. auris.
January 17, 2023 Read More