A scabies outbreak occurred at a 435-bed academic medical center with 76 inpatient rehabilitation beds. The index patient was incarcerated and admitted to the hospital in February 2022, and developed crusted scabies after steroids treatment. A total of 46 healthcare workers were exposed, 29 of whom presented symptoms and received treatment. The outbreak highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and effective infection control in controlling contagious disease outbreaks in high-risk settings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Mexico Ministry of Health, and U.S. state and local health departments are responding to a multinational outbreak of fungal meningitis among patients who underwent surgical procedures under epidural anesthesia in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, since January 1, 2023. To date, more than 200 U.S. citizens have been exposed to these procedures with three deaths resulting from this fungal meningitis outbreak.
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.
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.
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.
At last count, 58 Americans in 13 states have contracted severe bacterial eye infections, including at least one who died and at least five who suffered permanent vision loss. All have been linked to tainted eyedrops, leading to a recall.
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.
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.
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.
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.