Elizabethkingia Anophelis Outbreak
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health is currently investigating an outbreak of Elizabethkingia … With 18 deaths having been reported so far, the outbreak is now spreading into, Michigan, Wisconsin’s neighboring state. This reported spread just hours ago, is leading the growing concern across our nation.
If you are like us, you are also trying to decipher what this disease is, right?! Health officials explain Elizabethkingia to be a rare infection in the bloodstream, resulting from a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil, fresh water and reservoirs.
If you happen to live in Wisconsin or Michigan and are concerned about possible contamination, but are unsure of the signs… Symptoms include: Fever, Shortness of Breath, Chills or Redness on the Skin…
Between November 1st 2015 and March 16th 2016 there have been 54 reported cases of Elizabethkingia anophelis infections, which had led the CDC to Wisconsin, to begin collecting environmental samples from different potential sources, including: health care products, water sources and the environment. Disclaimer: The source of this particular outbreak is still unknown.
Who is affected? Majority of patients affected are over the age of 65, in addition all of the those infected, have a history of at least one underlying serious illness.
Reports suggest this is likely the largest-ever recorded outbreak of this particular bacteria and although infections from this bacteria are rare, some experts suggest the infection is more likely to occur in settings, where the bacteria is actively able to contaminate medical healthcare equipment. It enters the bloodstream via the equipment, and although it cannot be spread by person-to-person contact, it is quite dangerous for people with already compromised immune systems, such as premature infants, whom are dangerously susceptible to infection and potentially at higher risk of death.
Please Note… The Department of Health and CDC are working diligently to contain this outbreak.
If you suspect you may have contaminated the infection, please don’t hesitate to go to the Emergency Room ASAP!