As noted in past statements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that residents report those cases and close contact that is, if there has been direct transmission to their health care provider.

New studies suggest that the infection is possibly linked to the hepatitis C virus, Health Department spokeswoman Sherrie Travis said Monday afternoon. “There will be more studies needed to determine if there might be a link,” she said. The new data will bolster claims, that the novel coronavirus is likely caused by the virus associated with the West Nile virus, she said. Earlier this month the state Health Department said that the outbreak is likely viral and that the novel coronavirus has no link to any human cases. “We are being much more cautious than we have in the past with the novel coronavirus because we think its cause still remains obscure,” Travis said Monday. As noted in past statements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that residents report those cases and close contact – that is, if there has been direct transmission – to their health care provider. Health authorities also do not recommend routine immunization but do say adults are more at risk for developing the disease. While the novel coronavirus was detected in the northeastern United States in September, it has not been found in Washington state, where it is primarily found. The CDC, however, will not link it to human cases or human-to-human transmission in the state despite the recent cases in the state. That’s good news because Washington state currently has the highest rate of the disorder in the country. According to estimates from the CDC on September 17, 694 new cases and 44 deaths were reported in Washington State, many of them likely due to the novel coronavirus. CDC also confirmed seven non-health-care-related cases in the state, as well as 17 non-fatal illnesses among individuals, with several of those people not identified by the health department as being connected with any known outbreak. The Washington state health department’s office of Epidemiology and Critical Incident Response and Emergency Prevention said that the new data is reassuring because the “immediate health risk” from novel coronavirus, a type of severe acute respiratory disease, is still considered low.

Posted by Editor at 7/22/2013 03:38:00 AM CDT Comments (14) | Add Comment

September 22, 2013

Washington is “the epicenter” of a widespread and complex outbreak of an infectious disease

Washington D.C. Washington is one of the “enablers” for a growing outbreak of a disease that has infected as many as three people, health department officials said Monday. The discovery of a new illness by a hospital under investigation shows how a single outbreak can spread quickly, they said. “It just demonstrates how hard it is to track and stop a complex outbreak. This is the most extreme outbreak we’ve ever seen,” said Health Commissioner Mary McLeod, the top public health official in the city and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary. “Washington is the epicenter of a statewide outbreak of a pathogen that is very devastating on a human level.” The new illness is identified by the state Department of Health as the “highly pathogenic Haemophilus influenzae type b” (Hib). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for public health workers is that the symptoms of Hib are not serious, and even though it presents in the form of a fever or respiratory illness, and it is not contagious at the site and time of infection, its symptoms are nevertheless serious.

There are many strains of H.I.b (a related, but different, variety of the common cold), but all are susceptible to colds and influenza, the disease where the illness begins. The new incident includes an elderly woman, who was brought in today. She’s currently critical, the health officials said. The CDC believes that the woman was diagnosed with the disease earlier this month, but until this revelation was made, there was no indication it was a serious illness. In addition to the fact that she’s in critical condition, health officials said that she may be suffering from other underlying health issues. Another woman was brought into the hospital recently. She’s fine, but she’s not believed to be suffering from any underlying medical issue. The health department also says it has not learned about any possible links between these two cases. “I am not aware of any public health issues related to the two individuals,” the health department said Monday afternoon. So far, the most common illnesses included in the outbreak has been a mild respiratory infection (flu-like) that the state health department has confirmed, and a rash that is caused by the H.I.b virus. A serious infection, especially one without obvious symptoms, should be investigated first, officials said, but even then there is still “reason to be concerned.” Because there have been so many cases at the individual hospital, as well as all of the large public treatment facilities, they are all at high risk for the spread of the contagion, officials said. So far the outbreak has been concentrated in the northwest Washington region:

While the Pentagon says it is considering sending 5,000 troop soldiers into Iraq, that idea has met with resistance from US allies, who fear it may leave them vulnerable to foreign attacks. Perhaps a future version of this technology could be used on the street for a small amount of time before the autonomous vehicle goes through a parking lot and turns off all the other functions before it stops.
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