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Chemical-biological-radio-nuclear (CBRN) gas masks are the standard means for protecting the general population from inhalation of toxic industrial compounds (TICs), for example after industrial accidents or terrorist attacks. However, such gas masks would not protect patients on home mechanical ventilation, as ventilator airflow would bypass the CBRN filter. We therefore evaluated in vivo the safety of adding a standard-issue CBRN filter to the air-outflow port of a home ventilator, as a method for providing TIC protection to such patients.
Eight adult patients were included in the study. All had been on stable, chronic ventilation via a tracheostomy for at least 3 months before the study. Each patient was ventilated for a period of 1 hour with a standard-issue CBRN filter canister attached to the air-outflow port of their ventilator. Physiological and airflow measurements were made before, during, and after using the filter, and the patients reported their subjective sensation of ventilation continuously during the trial.
For all patients, and throughout the entire study, no deterioration in any of the measured physiological parameters and no changes in measured airflow parameters were detected. All patients felt no subjective difference in the sensation of ventilation with the CBRN filter canister in situ, as compared with ventilation without it. This was true even for those patients who were breathing spontaneously and thus activating the ventilator’s trigger/sensitivity function. No technical malfunctions of the ventilators occurred after addition of the CBRN filter canister to the air-outflow ports of the ventilators.
A CBRN filter canister can be added to the air-outflow port of chronically ventilated patients, without causing an objective or subjective deterioration in the quality of the patients’ mechanical ventilation. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:739-743)
Although Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has a recorded 5 years of circulation in 27 countries worldwide, there is no international study to assess whether there is variation in mortality by region. Neither has there been a comprehensive study detailing how the disease characteristics of MERS-CoV influence mortality in patients presenting symptoms. This study aimed to assess how region, patient and disease characteristics influence 14- and 45-day mortality in MERS patients. The author utilised publically available data on MERS-CoV. The study included 883 MERS patients reported between 5 January 2015 and 10 March 2017. Data on patient and disease characteristics were collected. The mean age at MERS-CoV diagnosis was 54.3 years: 69.1% were male, and 86.7% of the cases were reported from Saudi Arabia. About 40% of MERS patients studied were over the age of 60. The study estimated 14- and 45-day survival rates after initial onset of symptoms: 83.67% and 65.9%, respectively. Saudi Arabian MERS patients exhibited 4.1 and 5.0 times higher 14-day (adjusted hazard risk (aHR) = 4.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.012–16.921) and 45-day (aHR = 5.0; 95% CI 1.856–13.581) mortality risk compared with MERS patients in the Republic of Korea or other countries. Similarly, Middle Eastern MERS patients showed 5.3 and 4.1 times higher 14-day (aHR = 5.3; 95% CI 1.070–25.902) and 45-day (aHR = 4.1; 95% CI 1.288–113.076) mortality risk compared with MERS patients in the Republic of Korea or other countries. The results demonstrated a link between mortality and geography, disease and patient factors such as regions, symptoms, source of infections, underlying medical conditions, modes of transmission, non-healthcare workers and those of older age. Educational programmes, access to healthcare and early diagnosis could be implemented as modifiable factors to reduce the higher mortality rates in MERS patients.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is caused by a novel coronavirus discovered in 2012. Since then, 1806 cases, including 564 deaths, have been reported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and affected countries as of 1 June 2016. Previous literature attributed increases in MERS-CoV transmission to camel breeding season as camels are likely the reservoir for the virus. However, this literature review and subsequent analysis indicate a lack of seasonality. A retrospective, epidemiological cluster analysis was conducted to investigate increases in MERS-CoV transmission and reports of household and nosocomial clusters. Cases were verified and associations between cases were substantiated through an extensive literature review and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch's Tiered Source Classification System. A total of 51 clusters were identified, primarily nosocomial (80·4%) and most occurred in KSA (45·1%). Clusters corresponded temporally with the majority of periods of greatest incidence, suggesting a strong correlation between nosocomial transmission and notable increases in cases.
Bovine calf scours reported to be caused by multiple aetiologies resulting in heavy mortality in unweaned calves and huge economic loss to the dairy farmers. Among these, cryptosporidiosis is an emerging waterborne zoonoses and one of the important causes of neonatal calf diarrhoea. Poor immune response coupled with primary cryptosporidial infections predispose neonatal calves to multiple secondary infections resulting in their deaths. In the present study, faecal samples from 100 diarrhoeic calves randomly picked up out of 17 outbreaks of bovine calf diarrhoea in periurban Ludhiana, Punjab in Northern India were subjected to conventional (microscopy, modified Zeihl–Neelsen (mZN) staining) and immunological and molecular techniques (faecal antigen capture ELISA and PCR) for detection of primary Cryptosporidium parvum infection as well as other frequently reported concurrent pathogens, viz. rotavirus and coronavirus, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria spp. The faecal antigen capture ELISA and PCR revealed 35% prevalence of C. parvum in contrast to 25% by mZN staining with a relatively higher prevalence (66·7%) in younger (8–14-day-old) calves. The detection rate of the other enteropathogens associated with C. parvum was 45·71% for C. perfringens followed by Salmonella spp (40·0%), rotavirus (36·0%), coronavirus (16·0%), E. coli (12·0%) and Eimeria spp (4·0%) The sensitivity for detection of C. parvum by ELISA and mZN staining in comparison to PCR was 97·14% and 72·72%, respectively. An important finding of the study was that C. parvum alone was found in only 10% of the diarrhoeic faecal samples, whereas, majority of the samples (90%) showed mixed infections ranging from a combination of two to five agents. This is the first documentary proof of C. parvum and associated pathogens responsible for severe periurban outbreaks of bovine calf diarrhoea culminating in heavy mortality from Northern India.
Understanding viral transmission dynamics within populations of reservoir hosts can facilitate greater knowledge of the spillover of emerging infectious diseases. While bat-borne viruses are of concern to public health, investigations into their dynamics have been limited by a lack of longitudinal data from individual bats. Here, we examine capture–mark–recapture (CMR) data from a species of Australian bat (Myotis macropus) infected with a putative novel Alphacoronavirus within a Bayesian framework. Then, we developed epidemic models to estimate the effect of persistently infectious individuals (which shed viruses for extensive periods) on the probability of viral maintenance within the study population. We found that the CMR data analysis supported grouping of infectious bats into persistently and transiently infectious bats. Maintenance of coronavirus within the study population was more likely in an epidemic model that included both persistently and transiently infectious bats, compared with the epidemic model with non-grouping of bats. These findings, using rare CMR data from longitudinal samples of individual bats, increase our understanding of transmission dynamics of bat viral infectious diseases.
The hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas hamadryas) is the only indigenous species of non-human primates (NHP) found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). There are no peer-reviewed publications on viral infections of the baboons of KSA. Apart from camels, other animals are likely sources of the novel Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERSCoV) for humans. We investigated evidence of highly pathogenic coronavirus infections including MERSCoV in a large group of commensal baboons accompanied by feral dogs, on the outskirts of Ta'if city, KSA, in February 2013. Fifty baboons (16 juveniles and 34 adults) were screened for serum antibodies to human coronaviruses (HCoV-043/-NL63/-229) and canine coronaviruses (CCoV-1-3) using direct Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique and for MERSCoV antibodies using Serum Neutralization Test (SNT). Of the 50 sampled baboons, 22% (n = 11) were seropositive to HCoVs, 10% (n = 5) were seropositive to CCoVs, while none had detectable MERSCoV antibodies. These findings bear potentially significant implications for public health, canine health and baboon conservation efforts, necessitating follow-up investigations and preventive measures at locations where baboons frequent human habitations, or are regarded as tourist attractions, in KSA.
The 12 months from June 2013 to May 2014 were, in many ways, typical in the emerging infectious disease events that occurred. There were no huge shocks, no massive outbreaks nor new pandemics, but every month there were important events and together the year's events form a good illustration of what is a ‘normal’ rhythm of events for emerging infectious diseases. However, after May 2014 the Ebola epidemic in West Africa (described, in its infancy, under ‘March’ in this chapter) rapidly expanded to become a very large epidemic, illustrating how quickly small outbreaks can become very large problems given circumstances that favour human to human transmission and rapid spread.
Whilst many people think of ‘emerging infections’ as only the brand new infections like SARS and HIV, the definition of emerging infections is broader and includes five types of infections that are in some sense ‘new’. Table 4.1 describes those five types and gives examples of each from the past.
In England, Public Health England (an agency of the Department of Health) routinely gathers up evidence about new infectious disease both nationally and internationally. This ‘horizon scanning’ activity is an important part of identifying new infectious hazards that may pose a risk to public health. Each month Public Health England, along with other government bodies, publishes a two-page summary of notable events of public health significance. These summaries are widely circulated in government and academia and are publically available. They form both an excellent warning of current events and a record of how events unfold over months and years.
In this article I have picked one event from each of the past twelve months to illustrate the ‘normal’ rhythm of incidents. Those events have been chosen to illustrate the five types of emerging infectious disease events. They include the three events of 2013–14 that are most likely to trigger substantial, global problems in the future: the ongoing MERS-coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East (July 2013), the ongoing zoonotic cases of Avian Influenza in China (February 2014) and the re-emergence of Polio in early 2014 (May 2014). Despite the ongoing fears about a devastating influenza pandemic, the biggest realised threat from emerging infections continues to be the evolution of antimicrobial resistance. This is a slow, chronic problem that is happening everywhere all the time and therefore never triggers a single ‘event’.
Since the emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Singapore has enhanced its national surveillance system to detect the potential importation of this novel pathogen. Using the guidelines from the Singapore Ministry of Health, a suspect case was defined as a person with clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness, and with an epidemiological link to countries where MERS-CoV cases had been reported within the preceding 14 days. This report describes a retrospective review of 851 suspected MERS-CoV cases assessed at the adult tertiary-care hospital in Singapore between September 2012 and December 2015. In total, 262 patients (31%) were hospitalized. All had MERS-CoV infection ruled out by RT–PCR or clinical assessment. Two hundred and thirty (88%) of the hospitalized patients were also investigated for influenza virus by RT–PCR. Of these, 62 (27%) tested positive for seasonal influenza. None of the patients with positive influenza results had been vaccinated in the year prior to hospital admission. Ninety-three (36%) out of the 262 hospitalized patients had clinical and/or radiological evidence of pneumonia. This study demonstrates the potential benefits of pre-travel vaccination against influenza and pneumococcal disease.
We compared the rates of fever in adult subjects with laboratory-confirmed influenza and other respiratory viruses and examined the factors that predict fever in adults. Symptom data on 158 healthcare workers (HCWs) with a laboratory-confirmed respiratory virus infection were collected using standardized data collection forms from three separate studies. Overall, the rate of fever in confirmed viral respiratory infections in adult HCWs was 23·4% (37/158). Rates varied by virus: human rhinovirus (25·3%, 19/75), influenza A virus (30%, 3/10), coronavirus (28·6%, 2/7), human metapneumovirus (28·6%, 2/7), respiratory syncytial virus (14·3%, 4/28) and parainfluenza virus (8·3%, 1/12). Smoking [relative risk (RR) 4·65, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·33–16·25] and co-infection with two or more viruses (RR 4·19, 95% CI 1·21–14·52) were significant predictors of fever. Fever is less common in adults with confirmed viral respiratory infections, including influenza, than described in children. More than 75% of adults with a viral respiratory infection do not have fever, which is an important finding for clinical triage of adult patients with respiratory infections. The accepted definition of ‘influenza-like illness’ includes fever and may be insensitive for surveillance when high case-finding is required. A more sensitive case definition could be used to identify adult cases, particularly in event of an emerging viral infection.
Since the first isolation of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia in 2012, sporadic cases, clusters, and sometimes large outbreaks have been reported.
To describe the recent (2015) MERS-CoV outbreak at a large tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
We conducted an epidemiologic outbreak investigation, including case finding and contact tracing and screening. MERS-CoV cases were categorized as suspected, probable, and confirmed. A confirmed case was defined as positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for MERS-CoV.
Of the 130 suspected cases, 81 (62%) were confirmed and 49 (38%) were probable. These included 87 patients (67%) and 43 healthcare workers (33%). Older age (mean [SD], 64.4 [18.3] vs 40.1 [11.3] years, P<.001), symptoms (97% vs 58%, P<.001), and comorbidity (99% vs 42%, P<.001) were more common in patients than healthcare workers. Almost all patients (97%) were hospitalized whereas most healthcare workers (72%) were home isolated. Among 96 hospitalized cases, 63 (66%) required intensive care unit management and 60 (63%) required mechanical ventilation. Among all 130 cases, 51 (39%) died; all were patients (51 [59%]) with no deaths among healthcare workers. More than half (54%) of infections were believed to be caught at the emergency department. Strict infection control measures, including isolation and closure of the emergency department, were implemented to interrupt the chain of transmission and end the outbreak.
MERS-CoV remains a major healthcare threat. Early recognition of cases and rapid implementation of infection control measures are necessary.