Measles, norovirus and more: 4 recent and ongoing outbreaks

Different parts of the United States have experienced outbreaks caused by bacteria and viruses in recent months. Some of these events have approached epidemic levels, while others have been comparatively small in scale. Four such outbreaks are detailed below.

 

Salmonella

The CDC on April 6 confirmed 265 infections, 94 hospitalizations and one death associated with an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to chicken salad sold at Midwestern grocery stores from Jan. 4 to Feb. 9.

The outbreak affected 240 people in Iowa (including the individual who died), 10 people in Illinois, five people in Nebraska, four people in Minnesota, three people in South Dakota and one person each in Indiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin. The outbreak appears to be over, according to the CDC.

Salmonella infections typically last four to seven days. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea.

To learn more about the outbreak, click here.

Measles

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed 10 measles cases in the state as of March 19.

Officials learned of the first measles case, linked to a daycare facility in Johnson County, March 8. As of March 19, the outbreak had affected eight Johnson County residents, one Linn County resident and one Miami County resident.

Measles virus is highly transmissible and characterized by a rash that spreads all over the body. The virus can also cause fever, runny nose and cough.

To learn more about the measles, click here.

Norovirus

The Illinois Department of Public Health on March 30 reported an outbreak of suspected norovirus among 24 residents of the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

As of March 30, the illnesses only occurred among individuals in one building on the IVHQ campus, and all those infected were recovering.

Symptoms of norovirus can include stomach pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. The illness can be transmitted via person-to-person contact or contact with contaminated surfaces and food. Norovirus causes 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths every year, according to the CDC.

The suspected norovirus outbreak follows three separate outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease at the Quincy facility between 2015 and 2017, which caused 64 infections and 13 deaths. In February, state health officials confirmed four cases of Legionnaires' in the facility. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has come under fire for its handling of the Legionnaires' risk at the facility.

Hepatitis A

From Jan. 1, 2017, to March 17, 2018, the Kentucky Department of Public Health identified 198 hepatitis A infections related to an outbreak concentrated in the Louisville area.

As of March 5, more than 5,700 people had been vaccinated across Louisville since the outbreak's onset.

As of March 27, the Indiana State Department of Health had tallied 40 cases of hepatitis A statewide since January. The state typically sees fewer than 20 cases a year. Health officials linked many of the Indiana cases to the ongoing outbreak in neighboring Kentucky.

Investigators also linked the Kentucky outbreak, which caused 142 hospitalizations and one death, to other statewide outbreaks in California and Utah through viral sequencing.

Hepatitis A is most often spread via contact with fecal matter from an infected individual. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include abdominal pain, low-grade fever, nausea, fatigue and jaundice.

To learn more about hepatitis A, click here.

More articles on infection control:  
Human error source of Denver hospital's sterilization breach 
A. baumannii resistance among children rose significantly over 13-year period 
Colorado DOH confirms infections in 'a number of patients' who visited Denver hospital; link to breach unclear

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