01 April, 2011

Chickenpox in Guangxi, Legionella in Scotland, and "Apollo" Strikes Ghana

Hundreds of cases of chickenpox in Guangxi, China
Multiple elementary schools and daycare centers in Beihai City of Guangxi Province have seen an explosion of chickenpox among students since the end of last year. The 251 cases reported to date is a staggering 27 times greater than the case count during the same time period last year. Although the winter to spring season is the high-incidence period for chickenpox, this year’s spring has been especially cold and rainy, creating an environment especially conducive to the propagation of varicella-zoster virus. Furthermore, children have relatively weaker immune, and when they congregate in school, the chance of the virus spreading through direct contact or aerosolized spray greatly increases. Since mid-March, two schools have seen 14 and 15 cases, respectively, while the remaining cases have dispersed throughout the city.

Legionella outbreak in Scotland
One individual has been hospitalized with Legionnaire's disease and over 100 guests and staff of a four-star hotel in Dundee, Scotland have reported flu-like symptoms. Pontiac fever and Legionnaire’s disease are both caused by Legionella bacteria, but Pontiac fever is milder while Legionnaire’s can be deadly.  Many of those reporting flu-like symptoms may have Pontiac fever.  Outbreak investigators found Legionella in the hotel’s club.  In February, an outbreak of Legionella reportedly originated at the Playboy mansion.  

“Apollo” strikes Ghana
Over 400 cases of acute hemmorrhagic conjunctivitis have been reported in clinics throughout Ghana.  This viral infection is highly contagious and typically resolves after two weeks.  The disease is known as Apollo in West Africa because the first epidemic occurred during the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

No comments:

Post a Comment