PLOS Currents: Outbreaks

http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/

List of Papers (Total 122)

Vaccine Hesitancy: In Search of the Risk Communication Comfort Zone

Introduction: This paper reports the findings of a national online survey to parents of children aged 5 and younger. The objectives of the study were to assess parental understanding of childhood immunizations, identify sources of information that they trust for vaccine-related content, assess where parents with young children stand on the key issues in the public debate about ...

[OBK-17-0008] Does Zika Virus Cause Microcephaly - Applying the Bradford Hill Viewpoints

Introduction: Zika virus has been documented since 1952, but been associated with mild, self-limiting disease. Zika virus is classified as an arbovirus from a family of Flaviviridae and primarily spread by Aedes Aegypti mosquitos. However, in a large outbreak in Brazil in 2015, Zika virus has been associated with microcephaly. Methods: In this review we applied the Bradford-Hill ...

First Report of the East-Central South African Genotype of Chikungunya Virus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Background: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arbovirus that causes an acute febrile syndrome with a severe and debilitating arthralgia. In Brazil, the Asian and East-Central South African (ECSA) genotypes are circulating in the north and northeast of the country, respectively. In 2015, the first autochthonous cases in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were reported but until now the ...

Characterization of Clostridium Baratii Type F Strains Responsible for an Outbreak of Botulism Linked to Beef Meat Consumption in France

Introduction: A second botulism outbreak due to Clostridium baratii occurred in France in August 2015 and included three patients who had their meal in a restaurant the same day. We report the characterization of C. baratii isolates including whole genome sequencing (WGS). Methods: Four C. baratii isolates collected in August 2015 from the outbreak 2 were analysed for toxin ...

<i>Aedes aegypti</i> Control Through Modernized, Integrated Vector Management

Introduction: In the context of the ongoing, unprecedented Zika virus outbreak in the Americas, the World Health Organization has expressed its support for developing and up-scaling three novel approaches to controlling the Aedes aegypti mosquito: the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), the Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes (RIDL) and the release of Wolbachia-infected ...

Rapid Molecular Detection of Zika Virus in Acute-Phase Urine Samples Using the Recombinase Polymerase Amplification Assay

Background: Currently the detection of Zika virus (ZIKV) in patient samples is done by real-time RT-PCR. Samples collected from rural area are sent to highly equipped laboratories for screening. A rapid point-of-care test is needed to detect the virus, especially at low resource settings. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this report, we describe the development of a reverse ...

Strategic Interactions in Antiviral Drug Use During an Influenza Pandemic

Background: The evolution of antiviral drug resistance during influenza pandemics has created widespread concern. Use of antiviral drugs is a main contributor to the evolution of drug-resistant strains. Moreover, there are recent examples of influenza viruses acquiring drug resistance seemingly without incurring a fitness penalty that reduces their transmission rate. This creates ...

Exploring the Continuum of Vaccine Hesitancy Between African American and White Adults: Results of a Qualitative Study

Vaccine delay and refusal present very real threats to public health. Since even a slight reduction in vaccination rates could produce major consequences as herd immunity is eroded, it is imperative to understand the factors that contribute to decision-making about vaccines. Recent scholarship on the concept of “vaccine hesitancy” emphasizes that vaccine behaviors and beliefs tend ...

Epidemic Potential for Local Transmission of Zika Virus in 2015 and 2016 in Queensland, Australia

Introduction: Zika virus could be transmitted in the state of Queensland, Australia, in parts of the state where the mosquito vectors are established. Methods: We assessed the epidemic potential of Zika in Queensland from January 2015 to August 2016, and estimate the epidemic potential from September to December 2016, by calculating the temperature-dependent relative vectorial ...

Community Event-Based Surveillance for Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone: Implementation of a National-Level System During a Crisis

INTRODUCTION: There are few documented examples of community networks that have used unstructured information to support surveillance during a health emergency. In January 2015, the Ebola Response Consortium rapidly implemented community event-based surveillance for Ebola virus disease at a national scale in Sierra Leone. METHODS: Community event based surveillance uses community ...

Social Media as a Sentinel for Disease Surveillance: What Does Sociodemographic Status Have to Do with It?

Introduction: Data from social media have been shown to have utility in augmenting traditional approaches to public health surveillance. Quantifying the representativeness of these data is needed for making accurate public health inferences. Methods: We applied machine-learning methods to explore spatial and temporal dengue event reporting trends on Twitter relative to confirmed ...

Laboratory Investigation of Salmonella enterica serovar Poona Outbreak in California: Comparison of Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Results

Introduction: Recently, Salmonella enterica serovar Poona caused a multistate outbreak, with 245 out of 907 cases occurring in California. We report a comparison of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) results with whole genome sequencing (WGS) for genotyping of Salmonella Poona isolates. Methods: CA Salmonella Poona isolates, collected from July to August 2015, were genotyped ...

Pokémon Go and Exposure to Mosquito-Borne Diseases: How Not to Catch ‘Em All

Pokémon Go is a new game that encourages players to venture outdoors and interact with others in the pursuit of virtual Pokémon characters. With more time spent outdoors overall and in sometimes large congregations, Pokémon Go players could inadvertently elevate their risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases when playing in certain areas at certain times of year. Here, we make ...

Identifying Candidate Targets of Immune Responses in Zika Virus Based on Homology to Epitopes in Other Flavivirus Species

Introduction: The current outbreak of Zika virus has resulted in a massive effort to accelerate the development of ZIKV-specific diagnostics and vaccines. These efforts would benefit greatly from the definition of the specific epitope targets of immune responses in ZIKV, but given the relatively recent emergence of ZIKV as a pandemic threat, few such data are available. Methods: We ...

The Ebola Crisis and the Corresponding Public Behavior: A System Dynamics Approach

Background: The interaction of several sociocultural and environmental factors during an epidemic crisis leads to behavioral responses that consequently make the crisis control a complex problem. Methods: The system dynamics approach has been adopted to study the relationships between spread of disease, public attention, situational awareness, and community’s response to the Ebola ...

Series of Norovirus Outbreaks Caused by Consumption of Green Coral Lettuce, Denmark, April 2016

Introduction: In early April 2016, an unusual high number of point-source outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease were reported to occur in Denmark. Methods: Outbreaks were individually investigated. Two analytical studies were performed. Patient stool samples collected and analysed; positive stool samples were sequenced over the polymerase and/or capsid gene areas. Implicated ...

Isolation of Zika Virus Imported from Tonga into Australia

Introduction: The globally emergent Zika virus (ZIKV) is a threat to Australia, given the number of imported cases from epidemic regions and the presence of competent mosquito vectors. We report the isolation of ZIKV from a female traveler who recently returned from Tonga to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in 2016. Methods: A specific TaqMan real-time reverse transcriptase ...

Lessons from Ebola: Sources of Outbreak Information and the Associated Impact on UC Irvine and Ohio University College Students

Objectives. We examined the role of outbreak information sources through four domains: knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and stigma related to the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. Methods. We conducted an online survey of 797 undergraduates at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and Ohio University (OU) during the peak of the outbreak. We calculated individual scores ...

Invasion Dynamics of Teratogenic Infections in Light of Rubella Control: Implications for Zika Virus

Introduction: The greatest burden for a subset of pathogens is associated with infection during pregnancy. Evidence for teratogenic effects of Zika Virus have highlighted the importance of understanding the epidemiology of such pathogens. Rubella is perhaps the most classic example, and there is much to be learned from the long history of modelling associated with this virus. ...

Genetic Studies of Vibrio cholerae in South West Cameroon—A Phylogenetic Analysis of Isolates from the 2010-2011 Epidemic

Introduction: During the cholera outbreak from 2010 to 2011 in Cameroon, 33,192 cases with 1,440 deaths (case fatality ratio 4.34%) were reported to the World Health Organization. Of these, the South West Region reported 3,120 clinical cases. This region is in the Equatorial Monsoon climatic subzone of Cameroon, close to the coast, raising questions as to whether cases were linked ...

Taste and Safety: Is the Exceptional Cuisine Offered by High End Restaurants Paralleled by High Standards of Food Safety?

Introduction: Restaurant guides such as the Good Food Guide Top 50 create a hierarchy focussing on taste and sophistication. Safety is not explicitly included. We used restaurant associated outbreaks to assess evidence for safety. Methods: All foodborne disease outbreaks in England reported to the national database from 2000 to 2014 were used to compare the Top 50 restaurants ...

Invasive Meningococcal Meningitis Serogroup C Outbreak in Northwest Nigeria, 2015 - Third Consecutive Outbreak of a New Strain

BACKGROUND: In northwest Nigeria in 2013 and 2014, two sequential, localized outbreaks of meningitis were caused by a new strain of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C (NmC). In 2015, an outbreak caused by the same novel NmC strain occurred over a wider geographical area, displaying different characteristics to the previous outbreaks. We describe cases treated by Médecins Sans ...

FLIRT-ing with Zika: A Web Application to Predict the Movement of Infected Travelers Validated Against the Current Zika Virus Epidemic

Introduction: Beginning in 2015, Zika virus rapidly spread throughout the Americas and has been linked to neurological and autoimmune diseases in adults and babies. Developing accurate tools to anticipate Zika spread is one of the first steps to mitigate further spread of the disease. When combined, air traffic data and network simulations can be used to create tools to predict ...