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July 1, 2016

View Archives Issues

  • Cardiac Surgery Devices Linked to Fatal Infections

    An “insidious” under-the-radar outbreak of waterborne bacteria aerosolized by heater-cooler devices commonly used in cardiothoracic surgery is emerging as a clear and present danger to patient safety, a veteran epidemiologist recently warned at a meeting of infectious disease physicians in Atlanta.

  • New CDC Guidelines to Identify NTM Infections

    Hospitals performing surgeries requiring cardiopulmonary bypass should consider taking the following steps to identify patients at risk, the CDC recommends. Patients meeting the following criteria may represent heater-cooler unit-associated infection and may warrant additional investigation.

  • FDA Issues Alert on Devices

    The FDA issued a June 1, 2016, alert that some of the Mycobacterium chimaera infections acquired by cardiothoracic patients in the U.S. may be linked to the Stöckert 3T Heater-Cooler System manufactured by the Sorin Group in Germany.

  • Another Brick in the Wall: Colistin-resistant E.coli

    The possible emergence of untreatable E. coli — a common cause of urinary tract and other infections in the community — is enough to rudely awake a medical epidemiologist in the middle of the night. It is a sobering development that the CDC has been concerned about for some time.

  • WHO Convenes Zika Panel: Fate of the Olympics

    Relenting to a growing chorus of international concern, the WHO will seek the opinion of a committee of infectious disease experts before it makes a final decision on allowing the Summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Group A Strep Outbreak Kills Four In Long-Term Care

    An unusually large and persistent outbreak of Group A Streptococcus in a nursing home was spread in part by infected and colonized healthcare workers, underscoring the importance of reporting symptoms, seeking treatment, practicing rigorous infection control, and not working sick, an officer in the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service recently reported at the annual EIS meeting in Atlanta.

  • Zika Testing: Virus Detection in Serum and Urine

    More widespread testing for Zika virus is now available, as the FDA recently issued an Emergency Use Authorization for a Qualitative Real-Time RT-PCR test.

  • Presenteeism: Working Sick Endangers Patients

    In findings that further underscore the “presenteeism” phenomenon, investigators found that more than 40% of healthcare workers with influenza-like illness reported to work, putting patients and co-workers at risk of infection, an officer in the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service recently reported at the annual EIS meeting in Atlanta.